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 a rather brief 1,300.
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… ;-)
Disclaimer: Don’t own a thing. Please don’t sue me.
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Monday: 6 p.m.
Late evening sunlight streamed through the glass in the mullioned window. Its heat had long since wilted the bouquet of lilies that had been placed directly in its path, and their sickly scent was mixing with the stench of clotted blood, making Jane Rizzoli regret the Junkyard dog she had eaten for lunch. Swallowing against the queasiness, she lifted a hand to wipe the sweat from her forehead.
“Fuckin’ hotter than hell in here.” Korsak’s speech was brittle, all the moisture sucked from his mouth. She nodded in weary agreement and sent up a silent prayer of thanks that she fell on the side of the gender divide that wasn’t obliged to wear a tie.
“Neighbors hear anything?” she asked. With a hand on Korsak’s elbow, she guided him further into the shade of the hallway, where the floral scent lessened and the stink of loosened bowels and sweet copper became more pronounced.
“Aw, jeez.” Korsak smacked his lips in disgust, looking as if he’d inadvertently chewed on the air and swallowed it down. Usually he bragged about the strength of his stomach to anyone who would listen but it appeared that even he had his limits. To cover his lapse, he snapped open his notepad and squinted at the scrawl of his own writing. “Mrs Mallory, next door, heard glass smashing at approximately four-fifteen p.m. and what sounded like a scream ten or so minutes later. Unfortunately for the vic, Judge Judy’s verdict was on a knife-edge, and Mallory waited until the good Judge came down on the side of the plaintive before 911 logged a call at four thirty-seven p.m.”
“Fuck me.” The curse came out in a whisper, the heat and a terrible sense of futility instantly sapping all of Jane’s anger. Maura had already told her that the victim’s death hadn’t been quick and hadn’t been pretty. The eighty-nine-year-old woman had bled out from the stab wound in her gut while her neighbor had sat less than thirty yards away watching trash on the TV. “Mallory hear anything else?” Jane said, already knowing the answer but asking anyway. “Door shutting? Car? Someone leaving in a hurry?”
Korsak closed his notes. “Nothing. The scream, then nothing. First patrol was on scene four minutes after the call. Checked room to room, cleared the scene, and called the paramedics. Uniforms are canvassing the street but most folks round here work a nine-to-five.”
“Yeah.” Jane sighed, not liking where this was going. “Same M.O. as the West Roxbury job.”
“Looks like,” Korsak said. “Frost is already pulling the particulars on that fancy toy he insists on carrying about with him.” He frowned at the very suggestion of interacting with such high-end technology.
Jane gave a short laugh before sobering abruptly. “Never thought I’d say this, but the first vic got lucky,” she said. The seventy-three-year-old man with eyesight so poor he was registered disabled had come through his ordeal with severe facial injuries and a ransacked house.
“Sure did.” Korsak glanced at the front door as a vehicle slowed to a stop at the roadside. “That’ll be the meat wagon,” he said, obviously eager to be back outside. He nodded at the staircase. “Maura still up there?”
“Yeah, she was just finishing the prelim.” Jane wondered if he had given her enough of an excuse to go back up there herself. Maura would need to know the van had arrived and Jane would be perfectly within her rights to go and tell her. She quickly looked down at the parquet floor before Korsak could catch her grinning like some kind of demented idiot, but a rush of warm air and pollen told her that he had already opened the front door. When she turned toward it, he had his back to her and she allowed herself a small smile. Sweat had glued her shirt to her armpits, she was so thirsty that the inch of water in the victim’s flower vase was starting to look appealing, and some fucking psycho was running around Boston’s wealthier neighborhoods targeting their most vulnerable residents, but still the thought that Maura was a mere thirty-second stroll away from her was enough to make her smile. She could observe the autopsy, then they could meet back at Maura’s, take a shower, share a shower…
A dull thud made Jane blink. Momentarily disorientated, she checked the front door, but it was still open and clearly not the source of the noise.
Maura’s voice, quickly followed by a scuffle of shoes across the wood: heels and something flatter, softer, like sneakers. Jane saw Korsak snap his head toward her, though she couldn’t remember yelling for him. She was already moving, taking the stairs two at a time, that thirty-second stroll reduced to a frantic ten-second sprint. Her gun was in her hand, fingers slick and slippery around the metal. A door slammed, hard wood banging right back against the wall, and the tall man who was suddenly blocking her path regarded her with wide, frantic eyes. Jane raised her gun, her hands shaking, not afraid for herself but terrified of what the fresh blood dripping down his knife meant.
“Drop it.” Her command came out calmly, prompting him to look down at his hand. He seemed surprised to find it coated in crimson.
“Count of three, I fucking mean it,” she said, and something in her tone must have been enough of a warning because the knife clattered onto the stairs. “Korsak!”
“I got him.” Korsak was right behind her, his breath puffing in her ear, his own mad chase up the stairs having taken its toll. “Go.”
Jane shoved past the young man with the raised hands and the sniveling face, and ran. The first door was the bathroom, she remembered that as soon as she shouldered it. “Fuck.”
The second door was wide open, proudly displaying the floor-to-ceiling floral print covering the walls. Everything was pink and garish except for the splash of blue on the floor where Maura was crouched. She looked up when she heard Jane approach and managed a faltering smile.
“Sorry, he scared me.” She shook her head at her own understatement and struggled to stand, leaning over the gore-splattered corpse she had ended up sprawled across, and using the bed-frame to pull herself to her feet. Jane stepped forward to help her, grabbing her arm in a grip that she knew was far too tight, but that she could not ease off. Maura did nothing to protest, but just swayed slightly and looked down at the blue of her dress.
Jane followed her gaze. “Oh fuck. Fuck.” The material was soaked with blood.
“No.” Maura raised a hand toward Jane’s face. “It’s okay, sweetheart,” she whispered. “It’s okay, I don’t think it’s mine.” She winced as if speaking had hurt her and dropped her hand to her abdomen. When she pulled it up to examine it, her brow furrowed in confusion.
Jane shook her head, watching the scarlet stain spread into the blue.
“No, no, no.”
Maura’s knees buckled. Jane lowered her onto the hard wood of the floor and screamed for someone to help them.
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