Prompt: Maura buys a horse, “Walter”, as a surprise for Jane (he is kept at a stable in Western Massachusetts). Before Maura can give him to her, Jane overhears Maura talking about how handsome Walter is. Jane gets mad, throws her engagement ring at Maura and storms off, and Maura has to get Jane to understand.
A/N: This is a brilliant prompt from octobersky69, who was amazing enough to PM me this golden nugget of an idea. A little humour, a little angst, a little fluffy, very sweet. Promise! Hope you guys enjoy it, and thank you again octobersky69 for your genius!
~ ~ ~
Maura smiled, closing the window and shutting down her laptop. It was all done now. Everything was finalised and prepared for Jane’s birthday in a week. She knew Jane would love her present. Maura allowed herself a mental congratulatory pat on the back for her idea. Walter would be perfect for the detective, strong and spirited, yet loyal and friendly. Just like Jane.
For the last month, Maura had made very roundabout excuses to go out to Western Massachusetts, visiting the ranch where Walter was living. The first trip had been to meet the handsome beast before payment, and each one since had been to check on his health and wellbeing, and talking to him excitedly about his new owner. Though Maura knew a horse wouldn’t understand a word she was saying, she found herself unable to control herself when she began to talk about Jane. The detective still had that effect on her.
She was so excited, and could hardly wait for Jane’s birthday to come around. She’d already gone ahead and asked Cavanaugh to give both her and Jane leave for three days, and asked him to keep it a secret, to which he had gruffly acquiesced. Despite his outward demeanour though, Maura had seen the smile on his face as he turned away. The key to their country home was locked away in a drawer on Maura’s side of the bed. Maura had every intent of taking Jane on a romantic getaway out west, with the wide open spaces and the grassy plains. It would be a wonderful getaway before returning to begin their wedding preparations.
Looking down at the beautiful platinum and diamond ring on her finger, she could feel herself smiling even wider. She was engaged to the most beautiful, amazing woman she’d ever met. She could hardly believe that her life had taken such an unexpected and wonderful turn. Once she’d always thought she’d be alone, had grown used to it since she was a child. And now, she had Jane Rizzoli to hold her and protect her. At that moment, the woman in question appeared in the doorway, hair tousled with sleep, and wearing that adorable pair of pyjamas. Maura couldn’t help thinking she looked like an adorable little girl as she rubbed some of the sleep from her eyes. But the husky voice was still the same as that of the tough detective, as Jane moaned.
“Mauraaaaa, why are you still up?”
Maura laughed as she took in the brunette’s dishevelled appearance, and the grumpy expression that had crossed her face. It was utterly adorable, how Jane could never sleep unless Maura was safely beside her and sleeping too. “I was just checking something.” She stood up, and went over to where her sleepy fiancé stood, putting her arms around Jane’s waist and kissing her gently. “But I’m done now. Let’s go to bed.”
“Mmmm, I like that suggestion.” Jane grabbed Maura’s hand and led the way back to their bedroom.
~ ~ ~
Jane decided it was time to visit her beautiful doctor down in the morgue. Things were moving slowly in the Homicide Unit, with no new cases. The fat stack of paperwork that sat on her desk needed to be done, but she decided it could wait a little while. She’d already gone through five pages, which she thought was pretty impressive. She hated paperwork.
As Jane made her way to where the elevators were, she couldn’t help grinning at the thought of seeing Maura again. She still couldn’t believe she’d said yes when Jane got down on one knee in front of her. It had been an amazing day. And it meant Jane got to be with Maura every day, for the rest of her life.
But something was bothering Jane. She wasn’t a detective for nothing, and lately, particularly in the last few weeks, she felt as if Maura was hiding something from her. The medical examiner had been acting a little strangely, staying up late on the laptop, making discrete phone calls that Jane happened upon by accident. And those trips to West Mass. But Jane knew better than to question Maura’s fidelity. She’d known the doctor for a long time, and cheating wasn’t something Maura did. Still, it bothered her, but she was sure Maura would tell her about it when she was ready.
The ding of the lifts told Jane that she had reached the basement, and she stepped out of the opening doors. Her pace automatically quickened, as it always did whenever she knew she was getting closer to Maura. She could hear voices coming from the morgue, and put her hands up to push the swinging doors open–
And then she stopped. And listened again, more closely.
“Oh yes, he’s so handsome.” That was Maura’s voice. “He’s currently residing out in Western Massachusetts. I meet him about a month ago, and have been visiting him every week since. It’s been difficult hiding it from Jane though, but I think I’ve managed to mislead her.”
A devastating crash of confusion and hurt swept through Jane. It was as if her entire world was just crumbling around her, and everything she’d ever known had been thrown into the air, to fall and break. She felt dizzy as she tried to steady herself, hoping she’d somehow misheard. Though she knew herself better than that, knew that she’d heard every word loud and clear.
“Oh, Walter is perfect!”
That was enough. Trying not to cry, she spun on her heel and stormed off.
No one in the morgue noticed the retreating figure of one devastated detective..
Maura was filled with a happy glow as she finished up her autopsy. She’d just been telling Senior Criminalist Susie Chang all about her special present for Jane. She was still so pleased that she’d thought of something like this, and her cheerfulness bubbled over into extreme efficiency, as she tied up the last stitch on the victim’s body.
Cleaning up, she though now would be a good time to pay her wonderful detective a visit. Glancing at the time, she frowned for a moment. She knew Jane had only paperwork, and usually the brunette would have paid her a visit by now. But she didn’t think too much on it. No doubt Jane had been side-tracked by a game of trashcan basketball with Frost. She already had her admonishment ready, and she found herself smiling as she made her way to where the lifts were, intent on seeing Jane’s face again.
When she stepped into the unit, she immediately noticed that Jane wasn’t there. A small crease appeared on Maura’s forehe“Good morning, detectives.” She smiled at Barry Frost and Vince Korsak. “You haven’t seen Jane, have you?”
Korsak looked surprised. “I thought she went down to see you!”
Maura frowned, as worry began to filter through into her mind. “She hasn’t been down there, at least, not to my knowledge.”
“That’s pretty strange,” Frost spoke up. “Give her a call?”
The doctor already had her phone out, and quickly pressed call. The phone rang, but there was no response, and soon she heard the pre-recorded message asking her to leave a message of the tone.
Korsak must have noticed the troubled look on her face. “Hey, Doc, don’t worry. I’m sure Jane just went out to get some fresh air or something. She won’t go far.”
“You’re right,” Maura nodded, but something inside her told her otherwise. Never one to listen to her “gut” she pushed it away, but it lurked on the edge of her mind. She felt as if something was wrong, but hoped she was right in believing it was really nothing.
Jane didn’t show up for the rest of the day, and Maura found herself growing increasingly worried. She found it harder to concentrate as the day wore on, and the non-appearance of her beloved brunette weighed on the medical examiner’s mind. There had been no responding messages or calls from Jane, and every call Maura made directed to voicemail.
At five, Maura packed up and left the precinct, walking hurriedly to her car while she tried to call Jane again. She decided to just head home first. It was where Jane was most likely to be – either there or the Robber, but Jane never went alone.
As she pulled into the driveway, she spotted Jane’s cruiser, and saw a light on in the living room. Maura cracked her first smile since she’s learnt that Jane was missing. She walked up to the door, letting herself in and was on the verge of calling out Jane’s name when the woman in question suddenly appeared in the doorway of their living room. Maura was stunned to see the signs of distress and crying on the beautiful brunette’s face. And the anger and hurt that was directed at her shocked Maura, when Jane hurled her first words at the doctor.
“YOU!!” The voice was like a gunshot, and Maura jumped in surprise. “I can’t… look at you! I can’t believe you would… why didn’t you… if you didn’t want…” Jane was more upset than Maura had ever seen her. There were three stages of anger in Jane. The first was more exasperation than anger, in which there might be dramatic arm flailing accompanied by snappy remarks. The second was subdued anger, when Jane’s voice was soft, and only those dark eyes betrayed her rage. The third was when Jane completely lost it. Yelling, and shouting, the truly passionate Italian in her coming to the fore. This third and last was something Maura had only ever seen once, when Jane had overthrown Hoyt and his accomplice to save Maura. It was terrifying, seeing the anger in those eyes, the fury in her moves, that granted her power enough to take down two men with her hands still bound. But it had been beautiful as well, overwhelming, to see how far Jane would go to protect her. But now that anger was directed at her, and though she knew Jane would never hurt her, she still felt a thrill of shock and fear pass through her. But more than anything was the overwhelming confusion, at what had caused her fiancé to lash out like that.
“What are you talking about, Jane?”
The disgust on Jane’s face wrenched at Maura’s heart. “Ha, I thought you couldn’t lie,” Jane spat.
It was like a slap to Maura’s face. “Jane, please, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Maura’s voice had a placating quality to it. It did nothing to soothe Jane’s anger. It only seemed to feed it.
“Really, Maura? You really want me to say it?”
Maura could only look at her, urging her to go on. This drew another disgusted snort from the detective.
“I HEARD YOU!! TODAY! IN THE MORGUE.”
“‘Oh, he’s so handsome, he’s so perfect’, who’s this Walter guy you’ve been meeting up with every week for the past MONTH??”
“Wha– oh!” Maura realised what had happened, and a sense of relief washed over her. This was nothing, a simply misunderstanding. The realisation brought a smile to her face, and she began to laugh. Too late, she realised her mistake.
“Oh, you think this is funny? You think this is something to LAUGH ABOUT?!” Jane looked at her, face twisted in shock and anger. “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU. I THOUGHT I KNEW YOU. I THOUGHT YOU WERE THE KIND OF PERSON WHO WOULDN’T DO THIS. I THOUGHT… I thought… you loved me…” Jane’s voice dwindled off, and the look on her face now was worse than anything Maura had ever seen before. The hurt and confusion on her face wrenched at Maura’s heart. It hurt her to see Jane looking like that, looking at her like that. She could almost feel her own heart breaking as Jane’s must be. But then the brunette’s face hardened, and she turned away. “Guess I was wrong, but hey, why should I be surprised? I’m just a detective who gets herself beat up on the streets everyday right? I can’t give you money, or security. Why should I have expected any different.” Jane was walking out of the living room, making her way for the stairs.
Maura was so shocked she simply stood there. Her brain was telling her, screaming at her, to fix this! But her brilliant mind was failing her, as her body remained rooted in stone. It was only when she heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs that she managed to get herself to move again. Rushing out into the hallway, a furious and hurt Jane brushed past her.
“Jane! No, Jane, WAIT!!”
The detective only stopped at the door, a bag over her shoulder, and something in her hand. Pushing it wide open, she turned around, and the look of contempt in her eyes pierced Maura like a knife.
“I hope you and Walter have a wonderful life.” Her voice was frighteningly calm, and then she dropped something, turned on her heel, and was gone, the door giving a resounding clunk behind her.
Maura’s feet automatically took her forward, to chase after her fiancé, but her eyes caught the glint of silver on the floor. And when she realised what it was, she finally felt tears come to her eyes, a relentless stream. Blinking hopelessly through her tears, she bent down to pick up the keys to their house… and Jane’s own engagement ring.
~ ~ ~
Jane was hurting. When she slammed the door of her car shut and threw herself into her seat, she beat the dashboard with her fist. She felt the impact, but felt no pain. She was numb to physical discomforts as the pain in her heart took over. Kicking the engine into life, she threw the car into drive, and pulled away from the curve. For a ridiculous moment, she hoped that Maura would chase after her. Would beg her to come back. But almost as soon as it came to mind, Jane destroyed the idea. She’d made her message very clear. Maura had no more obligations to Jane, and was free to go pursue her relationship with this Walter.
Roaring through the quiet streets of Boston, Jane didn’t know where to go. So she simply drove, screeching around corners and racing down roads. The jealousy in her, at this faceless man, was blinding her. But more than that was the sense of betrayal she’d felt from Maura. She loved the woman with all her heart. She would give anything, including her own life, to keep Maura safe, to keep her happy. If Maura had really wanted to be with someone else, Jane would have stepped back and let her. She only wanted Maura to be happy.
She didn’t have to go behind her back.
And Maura knew, she knew just how much a relationship meant to Jane. She knew how much weight Jane put by a serious relationship. And taking all those steps, moving in, getting engaged, she couldn’t believe Maura would agree to it when she didn’t even want to be in this relationship. It stung even worse, when she realised that Maura would have started seeing this man after they had been engaged. The pain in Jane’s heart was almost too great, and her sight was blurred with tears.
But where could she go? She didn’t have her own apartment anymore, hadn’t had one for just over a year now. She didn’t want to go to Ma, who’d moved out from Maura’s guest house around the same time Jane had moved in with Maura. She didn’t want to explain. There was only one place to go. Frankie would have her back.
So she swung the car around, making her way to Frankie’s place. Just as she entered Frankie’s neighbourhood, her phone began to ring. At a glance she saw her name on the screen. She ignored it. A few seconds later, it rang again. And again. And again. When it rang a fifth time, Jane picked it up and threw it into the back of the car. The phone silenced itself for a moment, before the ringing and buzzing indicated more calls and messages.
This infuriated Jane all over again, and she stopped the car, grabbed her phone and turned it off, before flinging it into her trunk. The silence was both a relief and a burden. She drove through the streets, finally pulling up in front of Frankie’s apartment block. Slamming the door shut, it was as if all her strength left her in that one push.
And Jane just felt sad.
She pressed the button for Frankie’s apartment. The tired voice of her brother crackled over the intercom, but when she said his name, he immediately buzzed her in. Arriving on Frankie’s floor, the man was already waiting in the open doorway. Jane knew she should feel grateful, and she was, that her brother knew her so well, as he silently gestured for her to come in, handing her a beer and giving her a pillow and blanket for the couch. But she couldn’t feel anything over the emptiness in her heart. It was like every single feeling had dulled into a nothingness, and only a shell remained. Maybe it was better this way, as Jane threw back the bottle, downing it in one.
She appreciated her brother leaving her be. When he had made to talk, and Jane had looked at him, he had known to just back off, at least for tonight. And Jane was left alone to her bottle and her thoughts. But she didn’t want to think, so she silently padded to the kitchen, pulling a few more beers from the fridge.
She didn’t know what time it was when she finally drifted off into blissful oblivion.
~ ~ ~
Maura was going out of her mind with worry and fear. She refused to acknowledge the message Jane had left her. She refused to believe that it would all be over because of a simple misunderstanding. As she lay in bed, she felt like it was too big, too cold, too empty. Sleeping in bed without Jane beside her was driving Maura into madness.
She couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning, calling and messaging Jane’s phone but to no avail. When the phone stopped ringing and began to redirect straight to voicemail, she finally gave up. Jane had switched off her phone, and obviously had no interest in talking to her, and no doubt the explanations Maura had desperately left in messages would remain unread and unheard. Jane wouldn’t talk tonight, but maybe that was better. Some time to cool off, and Maura would find her at work, or somewhere, and they could talk when they both were calmer.
But she was anything but calm, as she furiously berated herself for the way she had acted. Maura couldn’t help imagining how it could have gone, how she should have acted, how everything could have been fine if she’d just kept her wits about her enough to explain. But the shock of Jane’s misguided anger at her had caused Maura to lose her usually crystal clear judgement.
When morning came, Maura’s eyes were gritty from lack of sleep, and red from tears that she’d cried into the night when she finally stopped trying to reach Jane. She was sure Jane had most probably gone to her younger brother’s place to stay, and her stomach twisted when she thought of Jane telling Frankie her version of the events.
The image of Jane’s hurt face, the anger and disgust, the contempt… she couldn’t brush it away and it haunted her. It was a like a vice around Maura’s heart, as she moved around the too big house, that was too empty and too quiet. She was so upset, she even resorted to hoping it was all a dream, as she moved into the kitchen, imagining that Jane would still be there, making her instant coffee to which Maura would shake her head as she brewed two cups of coffee made from freshly grounded beans. But there was no one in the kitchen, and it seemed to shout out to Maura the events of last night.
A feeling like the walls were closing in on Maura overcame her, and she felt the overwhelming need to get out of the house. Standing in the hallway while last night was still fresh on her mind was too much, and Maura quickly rushed out. The cool breeze on her face was like a refresher, and a little of the steady, methodical doctor came back to her. It was only a misunderstanding. It was simply a mistake, and they’d been through too much together, had come too far for it to all just break because of a few words taken out of context. Maura would find Jane today, most probably later in the day and they could talk it out.
But when Maura walked into the precinct, she was greeted by Korsak and Frost, who quickly asked her to come with them to a new murder scene.
“Oh, is Jane meeting us at the crime scene?”
Frost gave her a strange look. “Uh… Dr Isles, Jane called in sick this morning. Didn’t you know…?”
“O-oh…” Maura felt a weight slide into her chest.
“Is everything alright between you two?” Korsak looked concerned.
“I… well… I…” She couldn’t lie. ‘We had an argument.”
It was enough, and both detectives nodded sympathetically.
“Yeah, Janie can get a little hard-headed but she’ll come around,” Korsak smiled reassuringly at Maura. Frost nodded in agreement. Maura hoped so.
When they brought the body back to the morgue, Maura was grateful of having something to do other than paperwork or lab work. Doing autopsies always calmed the doctor, and she settled into her work, becoming engrossed in it until she had methodically examined everything and recorded her observations.
When it was all done, Maura felt calmer, and more positive. She’d find a way for it all to work. Jane… Jane was the love of her life. She wouldn’t let go that easily, and she knew Jane wouldn’t either. She hoped not. She pushed away the memories again, the words and looks that Jane had given her. She’d never dreamed she’d ever give reason for Jane to ever look at her that way. It was painful to even think about it. So Maura maintained her calm, determined not to let negativity creep into her mind.
She decided to head home. It was clear that Jane still didn’t want to see her, so she thought maybe giving Jane a little space to think was good. Whenever they’d argued in the past, they always spent a little while, to calm down and see sense again. This was a bigger fight, but Maura hoped old remedies would work.
Unlocking the door to a dark house was a depressing experience. Of course, it used to be the case all the time, but that was years ago, when Maura had only ever understood what it was to be alone. When Jane had come into her life, that all changed. And for last two years, even before Jane had officially moved in, Maura had gotten used to unlocking the door to a house lit up, or dark but with Jane beside her. It felt alien, walking into a house she’d lived in for so long, as if she was a stranger.
Hanging up her coat and bag, she walked over to the fridge, and pulled out a bottle of red wine. She knew she should let it sit for about half an hour at room temperature before drinking, but she wasn’t interested in sense. She pulled out the cork and poured herself a glass. And she drained half of it in a go. For all her mentality and calm, Maura still felt the darkness.
And then there was a knock at the door.
Maura quickly put the glass down, heart racing. Glancing at the time, she saw it was eight-thirty. Only one person would call this late. And nerves took over Maura, as she stood rooted to the spot. The knock came again, and she was jolted into action. She shakily made her way across the kitchen, into the hallway, towards the door. She could see the figure of a tall person through the glass door. With unsteady hands, she reached out, turning the knob.
And Frankie Rizzoli Jr. stood before her, looking both angry yet calm.
Maura was so surprised she couldn’t think of anything to say. She simply stared at the younger Rizzoli who stood on her doorstep. And then disappointment washed through her, that it wasn’t the Rizzoli she’d wanted to see standing there.
“Maura.” Frankie’s voice sharper than usual, as he addressed her, and Maura knew Jane had told him her story.
“Frankie, come in.”
The young cop stepped over the threshold, every movement abrupt and controlled. Maura could see the conflicting emotions on his face. She led the way to the kitchen, pulling out a glass for Frankie. She would normally give him one of Jane’s beers, but she felt as if she didn’t have a right to give Jane’s things away, even if it was to her brother.
When Frankie nodded at her in thanks for the drink, they both settled down against the kitchen counter, and Maura waited.
“I heard off Jane what happened.” Frankie’s voice was strained, but he kept it in check. “And I couldn’t believe it when she first told me, but after she explained the story, I gotta say, it sounded pretty damn true.” He heaved a sigh. “Janie’s not in a good way, Maura. She’s hurting real bad, because of what you did.”
“Frankie, it isn’t true! She misheard something I said earlier, and took my words completely out of context, but she didn’t give me the chance to explain.”
The Rizzoli male nodded, looking tired. “I figured she probably walked out before you gave her an explanation. I couldn’t imagine you doing something like that to Jane, so I came over to hear what you had to say.”
Maura let out a breath she hadn’t realised she was holding. “Thank you, Frankie.” She paused. “Does Jane know you’re here?”
Frankie shrugged. “She thinks I’ve gone to get some supplies from the grocers.” He didn’t say anymore, but Maura knew Jane wouldn’t have let Frankie come speak to her. It hurt, but she pushed it aside. This was her chance to explain. And so she did.
By the end of it, Frankie looked as if he didn’t know whether to laugh at the entire situation, or groan at his sister’s hard-headed, stubborn ways. He settled for somewhere in between, and choked on his wine. “My sister is a complete ass sometimes.”
Maura chuckled for the first time in what felt like years. It felt so good to know someone did know the truth, even better that it was Frankie. But then she sobered up, sighing. “But it wasn’t unwarranted. From what she heard, it did sound very incriminating.”
Frankie sat up, shaking his head. “No, Maura. This isn’t your fault. You wanted to do something amazing for Jane, and you did. It was a simple misunderstanding. And Janie is just so hard up sometimes, so of course she’d knock things outta proportion. You did nothing wrong. I have half a mind to go over there and drag Jane over here right now, and make her listen.” Frankie shook his head at his sibling.
Suddenly, Maura had an idea. As she sat there, fingered the stem of her wineglass, her mind worked fiercely, and then she had it. “Frankie… I have a favour to ask you…”
~ ~ ~
Three days had passed, and Jane had no intention of moving any distance further than the length of Frankie’s apartment. When her brother had come home two days ago without the supplies he’d said he’d gone to buy, particularly beer, Jane was aggravated.
There was no alcohol in the house now, and Frankie was trying to make her eat. He brought over Ma’s cooking, but as far as Jane knew, Angela didn’t know about her and Maura. Though it surprised her a little that there had been no calls or questions about where she was, seeing as she hadn’t been going to work. Jane simply assumed Frankie had something to do with it.
She really didn’t want to confront the reality of it. That Maura and her were over. She didn’t want to have to tell people what had happened, and oddly, it was more because she didn’t want people to think poorly of Maura, rather than regard for what people would think of her, for being unable to keep a woman like Maura. She was sure guys at the precinct already thought Maura was too good for her, and they were right. It didn’t seem to bother her as much as she thought it would, compared to the poor attention Maura might gain if news got out.
It was absurd that Jane should care about the golden-haired doctor at all, but she did. She loved Maura. That hadn’t changed.
It was a Thursday night, and Jane vaguely recalled that her birthday was in three days. What a great way to spend it… she thought to herself. Frankie had mostly left her alone, apart from ensuring that she ate, and cutting off her alcohol supply. Otherwise, Frankie just let her be. He was a good brother. He didn’t push her again after she finally let it out, and he didn’t really treat her different either. She was thankful for that.
Curled up on her couch bed, she was staring morosely at the blank TV screen again when Frankie walked in through the door. Unlike the usual, where he’d just greet her, make some simple mundane conversation, and then see to getting some food, he clapped his hands, looked at his sister, and made his announcement.
“You’re coming on a holiday with me.”
“You heard me. We’re gonna spend some time in the country. You’ve been lyin’ round too long and it’s unhealthy. C’mon, you’ve got extended leave from Cavanaugh, and so do I. The arrangements are ready, c’mon Janie. It’ll be fun. And your birthday’s comin’ up too.”
Jane stared at her brother as if he’d just suggested they pack their stuff up and move to the Alps. “What?”
The younger Rizzoli had obviously had enough, and walked over to where Jane sat, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her to her feet.
“Frankie, what the hell?!” Jane exclaimed in shock.
“C’mon Jane. You aren’t gonna mope around here anymore. Let’s go grab your stuff. Go shower and wash up. We’re leaving tomorrow morning.”
Jane was so surprised by the events, she simply obeyed without even realising. She wasn’t sure what had made Frankie do this, but she knew her brother well enough to know he possessed a very stubborn streak that Jane recognised in herself. And the more she thought about it, as she scrubbed herself in the shower, the more she decided it might be worth it. Getting away from Boston might be a good way to start moving on.
Jane hadn’t gotten very restful sleep lately, but she managed to grab a few hours before Frankie was hitting her with a pillow and telling her to get up.
“What the… what time is it?” Jane was groggy, and she didn’t have to look outside to know it was probably still dark.
“Time to get up,” another familiar voice chimed in from the kitchen.
“Hey, Jane. You still layin’ around? I didn’t get up this early so you could sleep in on us.” The youngest of the Rizzoli clan peered around the corner, grinning at Jane.
The detective was caught completely off guard by the appearance of both her brothers, who have obviously convened on some kind of plan. So she sat immobile, trying to make sense of it all. Her brothers were having none of it.
“Alright, Jane, let’s go.” Both Tommy and Frankie suddenly came forward and grabbed one arm each, and began to half-carry, half-drag her towards the door of the apartment.
“Hey, whoa, let go of me,” Jane wrenched herself out of their grasp. I can walk myself, and I’m still wearin’ my PJs.”
“Then go get changed!”
Tommy and Frankie exchanged looks, shaking their heads at each other comically, and Jane couldn’t help smiling, the first time in four days. The muscles in her face felt painfully stiff.
When she was finally dressed, her brothers chivvied her out to where Frankie’s car was. The trunk was open, and Jane could see three carry bags in the back. They waved her into the passenger seat, and piled in themselves, Frankie kicking the car into life and beginning their trip across the state.
Jane had no idea where they were going, but soon she didn’t care, as her brothers began to make her smile and laugh. For a moment, she forgot everything that had happened. It was like they were kids again, the three Rizzolis, on some mad-cap adventure, belting out songs in the car as they drove, telling crude jokes. Jane watched the sun rise, and she felt happy. In that moment, she felt happy again, as time seemed to rewind itself to simpler moments in her life.
It was evening by the time they turned off the main road onto a smaller dirt track. Night had fallen by the time they’d reached a nice old-fashioned farmer’s lodge. It was quite large, two stories, with a beautiful garden. Jane could see the porch, lit up by the warm glow of a lamp. To the left, in the darkness, she could make out a gate, and behind, paddocks seemed to stretch out for miles. Off in the distance, as the last vestiges of the sun’s rays faded away, she could just make out the tree line of a nearby wood. A peacefulness settled over the entire scene, and Jane felt calm.
“Where the hell did you find this place?” She turned to look at her siblings, surprise on her face. This didn’t seem like something Frankie or Tommy would usually come up with when it came to getting away.
Both of them shrugged at the same time. Jane let out an exasperated chuckle, before her mind began to bound off in another direction. Maura. The name came to mind, but Jane quickly shook it away. They were over now. The doctor hadn’t made any more attempts to contact her, beyond the night of the fight. Jane’s phone still lay in the boot of her car, abandoned. She had no need for it anyway, she’d taken leave.
Frankie handed her the keys, before he and Tommy followed Jane up the stairs to the front door. Jane turned the key to the house, and she felt sad. This was almost like entering a new house. But Maura wasn’t beside her, her brothers were. But then Jane’s ace hardened. It just reminded her of who it was she really could trust in her life. No Maura Isles.
Stepping over the threshold, Jane looked around, and a small part of her mind that wouldn’t shut up told her that this was the kind of place that Maura would love. It was kind of old-fashioned, with a fireplace. The furniture was comfortable, but with the same old-styled quality about it. The entire house was tastefully decorated, everything absolutely beautiful.
A low whistle behind her told her Tommy was just as impressed, and the look on Frankie’s face was enough to tell her the same. But the marvel of it all was gone, and replaced by an empty tiredness. Dragging their things inside, Frankie and Tommy fought over who got what was supposedly the guest room and who got the couch, while they both waved Jane on to the master bedroom.
As she entered the bedroom, another wave of sadness passed over her, as she looked at the king-sized bed. It wasn’t designed for one person to sleep in, but for two. But Jane was only one person. She wasn’t sure how long she stood there for, but finally, more because her legs were tired than anything else, she automatically walked over to the right side of the bed. Old habits did die hard. Sitting on the edge, she could feel just how comfortable the mattress was. Kicking her boots off, she lay down, and before she knew it, she had drifted on into that blissful oblivion of sleep.
The sound of loud voices in the kitchen woke Jane, and she sat up quickly, disorientated and confused. She didn’t recognise the room or the bed, and when she turned to her right, Maura wasn’t there. Then the voices came again, full of indignation and laughter.
It was then that Jane recalled the last day’s events. She was somewhere out in West Mass, with her brothers, in a country house. Western Massachusetts. Suddenly, Jane felt sick. For the last month, Maura had been heading out in this direction to meet someone called Walter. Of all the directions Frankie and Tommy could’ve taken her, they’d taken her west.
Laying back down on the bed, Jane curled up and shut her eyes, trying to block everything out.
When she next woke, both her brothers were standing over her, looking concerned. A tray sat on the side table, and Frankie was the first to speak.
“Hey, sis, are you feeling alright?”
Jane looked at him hollowly.
“Yeah, you’re lookin’ real pale,” Tommy looked at her, worried.
Jane’s voice felt old and not like her own. “How could you take me out west?”
“I said, how could you take me out WEST. Of all the directions on a compass, you picked to take me to West Mass.”
Realisation dawned on the older Rizzoli’s face, and he opened his mouth to something, but nothing came out. When Tommy caught on to Jane’s meaning, he looked stumped as well. They exchanged a look, before Frankie tried to placate Jane.
“Look, Jane, don’t think about that right now. Let’s go out and have some fun, alright? How about that?”
Jane felt a little guilty. She knew her brothers meant well, and she gave them a tired smile. “I’m a little tired from yesterday’s trip, I think I’ll just take it easy, y’know? I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me, but I think I just want to sleep for a bit.”
“Sure thing, Janie,” Tommy nodded, and they both went out quietly.
Jane turned on her side, staring out the window. She hadn’t closed the curtains last night, but the window was facing west, and the sun hadn’t reached her yet. She looked at the green paddocks, willing her mind to just blank, and not think. Eventually, sleep pulled her under once more.
It was the middle of the night when Jane woke up, from severe hunger pangs. She hadn’t eaten since the afternoon of the day before, and she decided to creep downstairs and find something to eat. When she walked down the stairs, she noticed that the porch light was on. Surprised, she went to turn it off, when she heard whispering voices. Curious, Jane followed the sounds, and turned into the hallway to see the door slightly open, and the hushed voices coming from outside. She could hear the sound of both her brothers voices, but there might’ve been a third person. She wasn’t sure.
Taking another step closer, she stepped on creaky floorboard. Instantly, the voices stopped, and moments later, Tommy peered around the door.
“Jane! Hey.” Even from this distance, and in the poor light, Jane could see the look on the youngest Rizzoli’s face. The look of someone caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. A second later, Frankie’s head appeared to.
“What are you doing up?” Frankie looked a little uncomfortable as well.
“I was gonna ask you two the same thing. Who were you talking to?”
“Uh, we were talking to… each other. Yeah, we were just talking to each other.”
“Talking to each other in the middle of the night on the front porch, and stopping the second you hear someone coming? That is the worst lie I’ve heard in a really long time.” Jane wasn’t in the mood for this. She knew something was up.
“No, really, we were just talking, sis. No big deal. It’s a surprise for you, that’s why we were being so quiet.”
Jane studied Frankie’s face, but it was completely masked with indifference, and she couldn’t get a read on what he was really thinking. Finally, she just threw her hands up, and turned on her heel. She stormed back up the stairs, hunger forgotten, and angrily paced about her room. She was sick of having thing hidden from her. She was sick of everything. She just wanted to block everything out.
At least sleep had been merciful. Her brain seemed too tired to dream, or something. Maura would know, but Maura was gone. So Jane lay back down on her bed, and closed her eyes. It wasn’t easy, but soon enough, she’d fallen asleep again.
A knock on the door roused Jane from her sleep. It had been light, and Jane had jerked awake at the quietest sounds throughout the night. When she looked at the clock, it read six in the morning. She groaned, and tried to ignore the knocking, but after another minute, Frankie and Tommy barged in.
“C’mon, Jane. Get up.”
“You can’t just walk in here. Get out.” Jane was in a terrible mood.
“No, now get up and get dressed. We have something to show you.”
“Yeah? Well I’m not interested.”
“Jane, don’t make us drag you up.”
“Stop telling me what to do!” Jane yelled. “Who the hell do you think you are? I’m sick of people keeping things from me, and thinking they can just come in and walk all over me. I don’t wanna go, okay? I don’t give a crap about what it is you wanna show me, I don’t CARE. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.”
Her brothers seemed unperturbed. “Ya wanna know what it is we’ve been keeping from you, right? Well if you just come with us, you’d find out.”
Jane glared at both her brothers, and they glared right back. The stare off went for another minute, when Jane finally slumped back. “Fine. Get out so I can change.”
“Good. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Janie.” Both boys walked out, and Jane watched them go. When Frankie turned around to shut the door, she caught the smile on his face.
Fifteen minutes later, Jane walked into the kitchen to find a freshly brewed cup of coffee waiting for her, along with some bunny pancakes. She frowned. “Is Ma here or something?”
Suddenly, the woman in question appeared, smiling at Jane and hugging her. “Oh, Happy Birthday Janie!” Jane squirmed a little in the hug, as she always did, but smiled at her mother.
“What are you doing here, Ma?”
“What? A mother can’t be there to celebrate her daughter’s birthday? Thirty-five years ago I had to bring you into this world, and it wasn’t easy!”
“Okay, Ma!” Jane put her hands up in surrender, face screwed up at the image put into her head. Then she smiled again. “Thank you. I’m really happy you’re here.”
“Good.” Angela turned away from her to tend to the frying pan on the stove. “Now hurry up and eat your pancakes before they get cold.”
Jane settled down, eating the ears first, then the rest of the pancake. She was glad her family was here to share the day with her, but she was still sad. But she didn’t let herself dwell on that thought too long, concentrating on her meal. When she was done, her mother whisked the plate away immediately.
“Alright, all done? Are you still hungry?” When Jane shook her head in response, the older woman gave a satisfied nod before she began to chivvy Jane towards the back door. “Okay, now go out and find your brothers.”
“What? Ma, what are you doing, wha–”
“Just go down to the stables, your brothers should be there. Go!”
And with that, Jane was practically pushed out the door. Putting her hands in her jeans pockets, Jane begun to make her way down the small dirt path towards the stable, kicking a rock along as she went. Lifting her head as she got closer, she saw both her brothers standing by the stables, both in jeans and plaid shirt like her. They were speaking to another man Jane didn’t recognise. Then he turned and seemed to recognise her.
Walking up to meet her, he held out a hand. “Jane Rizzoli, I presume?”
“Yes…” Jane glanced behind him at Tommy and Frankie, both smiling.
The man smiled. “Happy Birthday, Jane. I’m George Hansen. I was instructed to bring you your present.” He turned and walked around the back of the stable building. After a moment, he reappeared, leading a strong, dark stallion. “His name is Walter. His just turned six years old, is very lively and spirited animal, but well-trained. Apparently, you two share a wild streak. I think you two will get along brilliantly.”
Jane was stunned. “He’s amazing.”
George smiled. “Your friend has a very good eye. She was so committed to finding the perfect companion for you, and when she saw Walter, she immediately picked him. And she was dedicated even after the arrangements were made. She’d come up every week to check on him and to talk to him… about you.” He gave Jane a knowing look.
It was then that Jane realised what George had been saying. And suddenly she froze as the pieces began to fall together. Walter… he’s so handsome… Oh no… She was so committed to finding the perfect companion for you… she’d come up every week to check on him… talk to him… about you… No, no, no, this wasn’t happening. Jane did not completely misunderstand everything and destroy it all for nothing.
The man didn’t seem to notice Jane internal turmoil, as he fished through his pockets for something. At last, he pulled out a crisp envelope, and handed it to Jane. “Right, almost forgot. I’m supposed to give this to you too. If you’ll excuse me though, I need to go now. I hope you have a great day, Jane.” He waved to Tommy and Frankie as well, before leaving.
The white paper were gripped tightly in Jane’s shaking hands. She looked down at it, and instantly recognised her own name in that beautiful cursive that was Maura’s. She felt dizzy, and sick, and terrified that she’d completely blown her one chance at perfection. Slowly, she turned it over, and flipped it open. She tugged the letter out of its white shell, unfolding it and reading it.
Another year has gone by, and you only grow even more beautiful with every day. I love you so much, Jane. I love you with all my heart, and I’m so sorry about everything that’s happened.
I had been so surprised and upset when you appeared furious at me with no apparent reason. I can understand why you felt that way, Jane. The comments I made would’ve sounded absolutely incriminating if taken out of context. I shouldn’t have laughed when you told me why, but I was just so relieved that it was just a simple misunderstanding. I was just glad it wasn’t something that was a real problem.
I wish I hadn’t laughed, because then I could’ve explained the truth to you.
As you now know, Walter is the thoroughbred horse standing next to you. I just wanted to get something really special for you, something you would really love. And I remembered when you told me about that time when you used to do a lot of riding, and how much you loved doing it.
A month ago, I went out to Western Massachusetts, to here, to have a look at some of the horses they had, and to plan your birthday surprise. When I saw Walter, I immediately knew he was perfect for you. And every week since, I’d come out to check on him, and to make sure he was in good health.
I just wanted to make it special.
I hope you’re not still angry at me. If you’ve forgiven me, take Walter and ask your brothers for directions to the lake on the other side of the woods. I’ll be waiting.
Jane had tears in her eyes, furious with herself. She couldn’t believe herself. She’d been so hot-headed she’d justbarged out without waiting for an explanation. Without even thinking about the possibility that she could be wrong. She hadn’t given Maura the benefit of the doubt.
And Maura was the one apologising.
In that moment, Jane loathed herself. She had treated Maura so harshly, cruelly, for no reason at all. Maura deserved better.
She looked back down at the letter, and her finger tips brushed the signature at the bottom. Maura hadn’t turned away from Jane for her poor treatment. She was still there, still waiting for her. She’s here!
Jane spun around, eyes wild, grabbing Frankie and Tommy by the arms. “How do you get to the lake on the other side of the woods?”
When they told her, she saddled up, swung herself into the seat and took off.
If Maura Isles would still have her, Jane Rizzoli would make it right, and be that better person that Maura deserved.
~ ~ ~
Maura was pacing nervously up and down the short wharf that stretched out into the beautiful lake. It was quiet, and she was surrounded by beautiful nature. Behind her, there were rocky formations, not quite mountains, but still towering and formidable and beautiful. Like Jane. Trees surrounded the quiet lake area, and the glassy water reflected the sky perfectly.
She wringed her hands, feeling nervous. Glancing at the watch on her wrist, she saw that it was almost eight. She had left a margin anywhere from between seven and twelve o’clock. She hoped Jane would come. She was counting on it, because it was in this moment that she would finally know if she’d lost Jane or not. So she paced, and she waited.
~ ~ ~
Jane hadn’t ridden a horse since she was twelve. That was over two decades ago, but this didn’t stop Jane as she rode as fast as she could along the beaten track through the trees. She didn’t even think as she spurred on the spirited stallion beneath her, who seemed pleased at the chance for a wild run. Her only thoughts were of Maura, waiting by that lake for her. She was terrified of getting there too late. Too late to fix what she had broken, too late to save the best thing that had ever happened to her in her life.
Ahead, she noticed a fork in the road, and cursed. Her brothers had only told her to follow the track. They hadn’t said anything about a fork in the road. Panic settled in, as Jane wondered if she’d somehow taken the wrong one, as she slowed Walter down, looking down each way only to see more of the wood.
A voice called out from behind her and she quickly swung around, to see her detective partner leaning against a tree, black cowboy hat on his head, grinning.
"Hey, Jane. Took you long enough to get here."
"Frost!" Jane was shocked. "What the hell are you doing out here?"
"Helping you." Frost nodded to the track on the left. "That’s the one you need to go down. Happy Birthday, Jane. And good luck!"
The brunette nodded, giving him a smile before turning and rushing down the route. She didn’t have any time to lose. Walter galloped, leaping over a fallen log, taking his rider towards her destination. He listened to every instruction Jane gave him, and the detective wondered if the horse had picked up on her desperation to reach Maura. He seemed to run in harder, as they continued to ride.
Finally, Jane thought she could see the edge of the woods, a flash of blue. But before she could get any closer, another voice, a different one, called her name.
Slowing her horse, she turned to see none other than Korsak, leading two horses already, waving at her and gesturing for her to dismount and come over.
Jane was impatient, but she figured that this was most likely part of this entire bizarre plan. So she swung down, and gave her horse a pat. Walter nuzzled her hand affectionately, before following her to where Korsak stood smiling.
Behind him, the two horses looked calm and peaceful. Walter immediately cantered over to stand beside them, giving what sounded like a happy whinny as he stood beside a beautiful palomino mare. The other was a chestnut stallion, much older than the other two, but still strong, and very patient by the looks of it.
"Korsak. You’re here too?"
"Of course I’m here. It’s your birthday!"
Jane smiled a little, but her face quickly turned serious again. “Is Maura here?”
Korsak nodded. He pointed through the trees. “She’s waiting for you on the wharf. Go fix things, Jane. You two were meant to be together, take it from an old timer like me. Go get your girl, Jane. She really loves you. I’ll look after Walter here.”
Jane nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Thanks, Korsak.”
Then she turned and began to make her way to where she knew Maura was.
~ ~ ~
She heard the sound of voices, and her heart leapt. Then it began to hammer at her rib cage. Maura watched the edge of the woods for movement, both wanting and dreading Jane’s appearance.
And then she was there. Dressed in a faded red plaid shirt and old jeans, hair wild and windswept. It had been a week since Maura had last seen Jane, and her appearance made Maura feel a little dizzy. She had missed her detective so much, and wanted nothing more than to just run over to her and throw her arms around her. Kiss her, hold her, be with her. But Maura’s feet remained rooted to the spot, as she watched Jane slowly make her way over to the wharf.
~ ~ ~
God, she’s so beautiful. It was the first thing Jane thought of when she saw the doctor for the first time in a week. Those golden curls had been tied back into a ponytail. And Maura wasn’t wearing her usual, fashionable attire. She was wearing comfortable jeans that looked old and well-worn. A white button-down shirt that had a knot tied at the base covered her top. Black riding boots instead of high heels rounded off the look. And standing against the majestic background made up of lake and trees and mountainous hills glorified the look, as sunlight kissed the golden curls on Maura’s head.
Jane fought not to run over to where Maura was standing, to take her in her arms and to kiss her and beg forgiveness, and tell her just how sorry Jane was, how stupid she’d been and hot-headed. She managed to contain herself, and walked over to where Maura was standing, stopping when they were five metres away from each other.
~ ~ ~
They stood there in silence, looking at each other. Maura could feel her stomach in turmoil when she finally opened her mouth to start a conversation.
She couldn’t read the look on Jane’s face, but before she could say another word, Jane’s face broke, as the brunette began to cry, without moving, as she looked at Maura.
"No, Jane, what’s wrong?" Maura forgot everything, rushing forward to wipe the tears from her love’s face. This only seemed to upset Jane more, as she quickly took a step back from Maura’s touch. It was like a blow to her midriff, but Maura let her hand drop.
But before it could reach her side, Jane had grabbed it, wrapping it with both her own hands, as the lanky brunette turned away from the doctor in shame.
"Maura, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry, I was stupid! I was such a fucking idiot, I just…" Jane was shaking, Maura could feel it, but she was afraid to reach out again in case Jane would back away. She knew Jane needed to say what was on her mind. "I didn’t even give you a chance to explain, I just left! I just fucking left, and I treated you so bad, and all because I didn’t even give you the benefit of the doubt, I didn’t even think. You deserve so much better than that, Maur. Someone better than me, someone who doesn’t just flip out because she heard something without even knowing what it was really about. I’m so sorry, Maura. You said you were sorry, you asked me to forgive you, but you have nothing to be sorry for. I’m the one that’s meant to be sorry, and I am, you have to believe me. God, Maura, I’ve missed you so much, and I was hurting so bad. Every single day for the last week’s been hell. I don’t know what I’d do without you. I can’t live without you. Please, Maura, give me one more chance. I can’t let this be how we end. I’ve always messed up everything in my life, but I can’t mess this up. I can’t. I can’t lose you, but I know you deserve someone better than me."
Maura couldn’t take any more of this. So she broke Jane’s grasp on her hand, and reach up to cup her cheek. And she kissed Jane, stopping her words. She could feel Jane stiffen in shock, but a second later, Jane’s arms were wrapped tightly around her, and all the feelings they felt were poured out into each other through that kiss. And the longer they kissed, the more tightly they held on to each other, reassuring each other that everything would be okay.
Finally, Maura pulled away, but kept her hold on Jane’s cheek. “Jane. Oh, Jane. Don’t say that. You are good enough for me, you’re more than good enough for me. So we had a misunderstanding, there were some mistakes. That’s not going to make me stop loving you.” There were tears in Maura’s own eyes now. “I’ve missed you so much. I just needed to tell you the truth, explain to you what really happened. Of course you were angry, Jane, there’s nothing wrong with that. I would’ve been furious and hurt too if the situation was reversed. But know that I would never, ever cheat on you, Jane. You are the love of my life. And I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone but you.”
"I am so, so lucky to have someone like you, Maur. I’m so sorry about the way I acted. But if you let me, I’ll make it up to you. I’ll be a better person. You’ve already made me a better person than I ever was. You make me want to be better, and I promise you I won’t ever be so goddamn stupid again. I love you, Maura. I never stopped loving you, and every single day for this last week, I just wanted to hold you again. God I love you so much. I love you."
Tears were still streaming, but there were smiles now, and they kissed again. After going so long without Jane’s embrace, it was like food for a starving man, and Maura kissed Jane hungrily, needing to feel Jane against her again, needed to know that they would be alright, that the fight was over.
As if Jane had read her mind, she whispered against the doctor’s lips. “So are we okay?”
Maura rested her forehead against Jane’s, as she inhaled deeply, taking in the feel of Jane holding her once more. “Yes.” The she suddenly remembered, and used one hand to take out something from her pocket. “You left this behind the other day. It’s a beautiful ring, but I think it’d look even better on your finger again.”
When Jane saw the platinum ring, a tear leaked out again, but Maura quickly kissed it away as she took Jane’s hand and slid the ring back in place. It looked perfect, as if it had never left its place on Jane’s finger.
When that was done, Jane pulled her in once more for another kiss, this time a slower, passion filled one, and Maura’s libido was suddenly raging. Jane’s kisses wasn’t the only thing she was hungry for, and the way Jane had just bit her lip and explored her mouth with that tongue wasn’t helping matters at all.
Maura let out a little gasp and a moan, and pulled back, one hand gripping the front of Jane’s shirt. “So, did you like your present?”
Jane was grinning, and her eyes were a shade darker than before. “Mhmm. I loved it. Walter really is amazing. Rides like the wind too.”
Maura beamed, pleased with her choice. “Did I mention that wasn’t the only present you’re getting?”
"Oh?" Jane tilted her head, a small smirk playing on her mouth. "There’s more."
"Mmmm, yes," Maura breathed out as Jane planted a light kiss on her neck. "The house…" she gasped a little when Jane nipped her just below the ear. "… is ours."
This caused Jane to stop her ministrations, surprise on her face. “That big house? That’s ours?”
Maura nodded. “I thought we could use a place that we could escape to when we needed a break from work, and this is where we’ll be keeping Walter.”
Jane frowned. “Where exactly are we?”
Maura was surprised by the question. “Berkshire County.”
"But that’s… only about three hours away."
"Well, yes Jane." Maura was confused.
"How the hell did we end up driving around for a whole day to try and get here?"
Maura laughed at the confused look on Jane’s face. It was so adorable, and she leaned forward to press her lips to Jane’s again, lingering there. When she pulled back, the confused look as gone and replaced by another look that only made the heat between Maura’s legs grow. But Maura kept herself contained, as she ran a finger from Jane’s chin, down her neck, and curling it when she reached the first button on Jane’s shirt, tugging it. “And…” Maura husked, leaning in to whisper into Jane’s ear. “There’s one more present that needs opening.”
Maura nodded, as she kissed Jane’s neck. “Me.”
A/N: It’s rare for me to do a little foot note, but I was just curious. I’ve danced on the edge of the adult side of things… How do y’all feel about smut? Do you want a round of hot make-up/birthday sex for Jane and Maura?