Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Category: Established R/I with a bit of everything else (and the kitchen sink chucked in for good measure!)
Word Count: Just shy of 6,000. This section 2,700.
Notes: I got a bit of a plot-bunny in my head and this was the result. Keep an eye on the time-stamps to avoid any “WTF?” moments… ;-)
Cheers to everyone who took the time to leave feedback on the first part. Reading all of your comments made for an extremely entertaining nightshift :-)
Disclaimer: Don’t own a thing. Please don’t sue me.
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Monday: 6 a.m.
Maura Isles was a morning person. She loved waking up to the sound of birdsong, with sunlight beginning to brighten the colors in her bedroom. She loved that first touch of heated water against her skin and her first sip of coffee. But most of all, she loved waking up next to Jane Rizzoli and spending a few precious minutes just watching her sleep.
Undisturbed, nightmare-free sleep smoothed all of the tension from Jane’s face. It made her look younger, as if finally being able to rest had chiseled away years of accumulated torment. For the past few months, the only thing to wake Jane in the middle of the night had been the sound of Bass colliding with the furniture, and she had eventually learned to ignore even that.
“You watchin’ me again?” Her voice husky with drowsiness, Jane spoke without opening her eyes, but a smile tugged at the corners of her lips.
“Nope,” Maura said casually, knowing damn well that she was busted. She leaned down and kissed Jane, and then shivered when she felt Jane work a hand beneath her nightshirt. “Ah, we really shouldn’t. I have a meeting scheduled for eight-thirty.”
Despite the feeble nature of Maura’s protest, Jane nodded sagely. “Oh, you have a meeting?” Her hand moved lower, gliding into the fly of Maura’s boxers. “God, I knew there was a reason I got you wearing these.” She teased her fingers into the slick warmth she found there, and Maura whimpered, any thought of her morning routine utterly abandoned. “I won’t make you late,” Jane murmured, her free hand busy unfastening Maura’s shirt. She paused as if reconsidering. “Well, not by much…”
~ ~ ~
They met again in the parking lot, two colleagues coincidentally arriving at work within minutes of each other. Jane held the stairwell door for Maura and hoped the images from the security cameras weren’t detailed enough to pick out the flush coloring Maura’s cheeks.
“Did you have a pleasant weekend, Doctor Isles?” she asked innocently as they stood there side by side waiting for the elevator.
“Oh well, you know.” Playing along, Maura tilted her head, making a show of trying to remember. “It was quite a quiet one, really.”
“Hmm.” Jane raised a skeptical eyebrow; there had been plenty of occasions over the weekend when Maura had been anything but quiet.
A sharp ping announced the arrival of the elevator and they stepped into the empty car. As soon as the doors shut, Jane leaned into Maura and kissed her forehead. “Meet you for lunch?”
“Should be free about one.”
The elevator slowed and jolted to a stop at Jane’s floor. “Sorry I made you late,” she said.
Maura laughed. “No, you’re not.”
“No, I’m not,” Jane conceded easily. “I’ll see you at one.”
~ ~ ~
“Morning.” Jane set the coffee in front of Frost before crossing to her own desk.
“Oh hey, thanks,” Frost said, but his attention was fixed on his computer and he took a mouthful of the drink without ever having looked at the cup. “Got the med reports back from the home invasion in West Roxbury. You should have a copy on your desktop.”
Jane waited for her log-in details to limp past the server’s security checks. The office was filling up, and shouted greetings and insults were flying between the desks. The crappy and intermittently defunct air conditioning had been fixed over the weekend and it was enthusiastically making up for lost time by dispersing the smells of coffee and cheap cologne throughout the open-plan room. Trying her best to breathe shallowly, Jane clicked on the file marked W. Roxbury.
The face of the seventy-three-year-old victim had been beaten to a pulp, swelling and fractures distorting his features to render him barely recognizable as human. Close-up shots of his hands focused on the slashes across his palms and fingers where he had tried to defend himself. She could only imagine the horror of fighting an assailant she was unable to see. Her appetite ruined, she pushed her coffee aside and rocked back in her chair.
“Right,” she said. “Where do we start?”
~ ~ ~
“Did you do something different to your hair, Rizzoli?”
Jane closed her eyes slowly. “Please fuck off back to whatever hole you crawled out of, Crowe.”
“No, seriously. Did you brush it or something? You look different.” He kicked her chair as if to emphasize his point, a typical bully’s ploy to get attention. “Almost human,” he continued. “It’s fucking weird.”
Jane shrugged, gave him a smile she hoped would be enigmatic enough to drive him absolutely fucking nuts, and said nothing. He frowned at her, his toe tapping out a frustrated rhythm against her chair, and then stalked off toward his desk.
Frost sniggered as he watched Crowe leave. “He’s right about something, though,” he said in an undertone. “You do look different.”
“Yeah?” Jane said. “Hell, Frost, maybe I’m just happy.”
~ ~ ~
“A Junkyard Dog?” Maura tried very hard not to convey her disappointment. For reasons perhaps best left unmentioned in their current surroundings, she had worked up a huge appetite, and had been hoping for a lunch that at least required the use of proper cutlery.
With a grin, Jane took her arm and ushered her over the threshold of Spike’s.
“Trust me, Maura. You’ll love it.”
Maura had her doubts, but Jane was obviously thrilled by her choice of venue and the deal was that they alternated who picked where to eat. Having so far introduced Jane to the delights of apple-arugula wraps and freshly landed swordfish, Maura accepted that turn about was probably fair play.
The lunchtime rush was in full flow at Spike’s but most people were choosing to take their food out into the blazing sunshine. Maura squeezed into a vacant booth and surreptitiously wiped the glossy red tabletop with a napkin as Jane ordered their lunch.
“Okay, 57 T-Bird for you,” Jane set the hot dog down and pushed onto the seat in front of Maura, “and a Junkyard Dog for me. Fries are to share.”
“‘A 57 T-Bird’,” Maura repeated, eyeing the cheese-smothered dog with suspicion.
“Honey mustard and melted Swiss. Thought it might be daintier than mine,” Jane explained around a mouthful.
“And yours is…?”
“Mustard, tomato, pickle, hot pepper rings, and chopped scallions.”
Jane looked so contented that Maura couldn’t help but smile at her.
“Okay, here goes.” Maura bit into her hot dog and chewed it cautiously. “Oh,” she said. “Oh, that’s really good!”
Jane waggled a fry at her. “I hate to say ‘I told you so’…”
“Can I try yours?” Maura’s attempt to cleanse her palate with root beer was largely unsuccessful.
“Be my guest,” Jane said, but her eyes widened when she saw how big a bite Maura had taken. “Would you like to keep that, now you’ve eaten most of it?”
Maura nodded. “I think I like yours best.”
Leaning close, Jane caught a smear of mustard on Maura’s chin. “Can’t believe you stole my lunch.”
Maura took Jane’s hand and carefully licked the mustard from her finger. “What if I promise to make it up to you later?”
Jane stared at Maura, her mouth slightly open, her breath coming fast and short. Without saying a word, she quickly pushed both sodas and all of the food right in front of Maura.
Unable to keep her face straight, Maura took pity on her, releasing her finger and redistributing their lunch. She cut each hot dog in half and rearranged them on their plates.
About to pick up a fry, Jane hesitated. “This mean you’re gonna renege on your promise?”
“One thing you should know about me, Jane,” Maura said with the utmost sincerity, “I never renege on a promise.”
~ ~ ~
Arthur Tremont fumbled for his daughter’s hand and held onto it as tightly as his sutures and dressings would allow. Late the previous night, surgeons had inserted a metal plate to hold one side of his face together, and the morphine he had been given post-operatively was making his responses to Jane’s questions hesitant and slurred.
“He sounded young, mean. Talked fast, I couldn’t…” Tremont looked in Jane’s direction, his eyes searching but not seeing. “He gave me no time. He would ask me for money but didn’t wait for an answer, he just…” Tremont’s voice trailed into nothing and he lifted a trembling hand toward his face.
“It’s okay, sir,” Jane said quietly. “You take all the time you need now.”
He nodded once, his shoulders straightening as he steeled himself to continue. “He beat me even after he had found what he wanted. Then he put a knife to my throat and told me he would come back to ‘finish me off’ if I told anyone.”
At his side, Tremont’s daughter stifled a sob, tears running unheeded down her cheeks.
“Did you get a sense of his height or build, sir?” Jane looked at her notes with a mounting feeling of hopelessness.
“Maybe slightly taller than me. When he spoke, his breath was here.” Tremont indicated his temple. “Bad breath too, he smelled bitter, unwashed.”
“Good, that’s really good, sir.” She scribbled a rough estimate of the assailant’s height and pushed her chair back from the bedside, aware she had probably gotten as much as she could, given the circumstances. “I’m going to let you get some rest now. I’ll come back and speak to you again in a couple of days, but in the meantime if you remember anything else, no matter how insignificant you might think it, just give me a call.” His daughter accepted a card with the contact details on it and Jane rested her hand over Tremont’s. “You take it easy, sir.”
He nodded in acknowledgment and she left the room, the bustle and noise of the hospital corridor jarring after so long in the presence of the Tremonts’ dignified grief. She had almost reached the main entrance when her cell phone rang.
“It’s Frost. I think we’ve got another one.”
~ ~ ~
Maura looked up in response to Jane’s terse question and Jane immediately opened her hands in apology.
“I know, I know. Too soon to tell.”
Maura nodded with reluctance, wishing she could take away all the uncertainties and give Jane the absolutes she so desperately needed.
“She didn’t die instantly, I can tell you that much. She would have been immediately incapacitated, but she struggled. Look, here.” Maura pointed to a small bloody handprint on the pink bed linen. Just above it was a second, less distinct one, as if the woman had grasped it in an attempt to stand.
“So this son of a bitch could have stabbed her and then gone on to wreck the house as she lay there bleeding out?”
“It’s possible. She was asystolic when the paramedics arrived, pupils fixed and dilated, but there was no rigor or hypostasis present.”
Jane was turning slowly, looking at the floor. “God, the prints are a fucking mess.” There were bloody footprints all over the wooden floor, overlapping and smeared where the assailant had tracked back and forth to search the bedroom.
“Are they any better downstairs?” Placing her gloved hands on either side of the single abdominal wound, Maura exerted a gentle pressure and watched the blood well up to fill the gaping hole. She crinkled her nose at the smell.
“Some,” Jane said absently, staring at the blood. “Fainter, must’ve faded as he went from room to room. Christ, what is that smell?”
“Perforated bowel.” Maura lifted her hand and held her index finger and thumb two inches apart. “Blade diameter,” she said. “Looks to be non-serrated but I can’t—”
“—Say for sure until you get her on the table,” Jane finished the sentence for her, getting an indulgent smile in return. “You about done here?”
“Pretty much. I just need to get these off,” Maura indicated her gloves, “and make some notes. I can do the autopsy tonight.” She lowered her voice. “I’m guessing you’re going to be here a while.”
“Yeah, looks like. Wouldn’t mind sitting in on the autopsy. Give me a call when you’re set?”
“I’ll go see if Korsak got anything from the neighbor,” Jane said, but she stood there until Maura looked up at her, slightly puzzled.
“What is it?”
“Nothing, it’s nothing.” Jane grinned. “You just look lovely in that dress, that’s all.”
“I’m kneeling by a corpse, Jane.”
“Well, yes, but you’re doing it beautifully,” Jane told her, and blew her a kiss before leaving the room.
~ ~ ~
Maura snapped the clasps down to lock her briefcase. Outside in the street, she heard van doors opening and then the familiar sound of a gurney being slid out. She stretched her cramped muscles as she straightened, glad that for an hour or so at least she could delegate the care of the victim to someone else. The bedroom was stifling, its stagnant air bordering on claustrophobic. She longed for a bottle of water, a thorough wash, and the pleasant cool of her morgue.
She was reaching for her briefcase when a muffled thump to her left made her jump. She turned toward the sound, which seemed to have come from within a large oak closet. The unit loomed over the bedroom, its size dominating the length of the wall, one of its doors slightly ajar. Fear suddenly twisted inside her, preventing her from moving any closer. As she drew in a breath to call for Jane, the closet door abruptly swung open.
A young male in dark jeans and a tattered jacket stood in front of her. She immediately raised her hands to show him she was unarmed, but he lunged toward her, intent only on escape.
Without warning his hand came up, punching hard into the center of her abdomen. The force of the blow made her stagger and she slipped on the thick clots of blood at her feet, falling heavily onto the body. The bedroom door smacked against the wall. Winded, gasping for breath, Maura stayed huddled where she had landed, making herself as small a target as she possibly could. Seconds later, Jane’s voice sounded from the stairs, clear and authoritative, and Maura shuddered, thinking of the wild look in the man’s eyes. There was a strange rattle of metal against wood before Korsak confirmed the man’s capitulation in a single, clipped sentence. She took a deep breath of relief, and then tried to move before Jane came to find her.
“Sorry, he scared me.” She smiled as Jane entered the room, but was finding it more difficult to stand than she would have expected. Her legs felt wobbly and a sharp pain shot through her abdomen; she wondered at how hard he must have hit her. When she looked down, she saw blood coating the front of her dress.
Jane had seen the blood too. She was cursing, panic stark on her face. Maura reached a hand to her, trying to reassure her.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. It’s okay, I don’t think it’s mine.” Pain rippled through her again and she instinctively tried to ease it by pressing her fingers where it burned. They slid into a deep wound and she stared at the blood on them, not really comprehending that it was hers. Dimly, she saw Jane shake her head, heard her chanting “no” over and over, but Maura couldn’t do anything to reassure her this time. She couldn’t do anything at all.
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