Title: Mostly Fixed
Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Category: Tag to 3X07.
Word Count: About 2,500
Notes: I really wasn’t going to tag this one, and then I went and did. Contains references to adult themes.
Thanks and love to feroxargentea for a brilliant beta, and for managing not to drop the laptop in the bath. Love also to laurel_hardy for giving it the American once-over, and me the push I needed to actually post. Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: Don’t own a thing. Please don’t sue me.
Jane had lied: the outfit hadn’t been the worst part. Maura had seen straight through her, of course, but had willingly played along for those three desperate minutes of glibness and attempting to laugh it off. It was always destined to end in failure, though. Jane broke first, setting her beer down on the table and huddling beneath the blanket. She could feel Maura waiting for her to say something. She stared resolutely at the wall instead, trying not to breathe, sure that her outrage and misery would come screaming out if she opened her mouth, or moved, or did anything at all.
She shook her head and despite her best intentions, a sob slipped free. She clamped her teeth together so viciously it made her jaw ache.
“Jane, don’t.” The break in Maura’s voice reminded Jane that she wasn’t the only one who was suffering. Maura had watched, she had seen. They had all fucking seen everything.
“I don’t need the hospital, I’m fine.” Jane lurched off the bed and pushed past Korsak and Frost into a dining room that smelled of lasagna and garlic bread. She made it as far as the edge of the sofa before her legs remembered they had been bound to a bed for hours and her stomach started to rebel against whatever Dominick had used to sedate her.
“No, she’s puking,” she heard Korsak say on the phone, as she retched and gagged and dug her fingers into the carpet. “Yeah, doc, I already told her that.”
“Tell her I’m fine,” Jane said. With an effort she pulled herself up onto the sofa.
“She’s meeting us at the hospital.” Korsak had pointedly ended the call without passing on Jane’s message. He hovered close by, careful not to crowd her or touch her. “You want me to drive you over there?”
She watched the blood from her mangled wrists streak down her arms.
“Yeah,” she said. “Yeah, but just you.”
For a woman who only a few weeks ago had feared a jail sentence for tagging, Maura’s disregard for every posted speed limit en route to the hospital was nothing less than flagrant. So flagrant, she had plenty of time to warn the Emergency Department staff of Jane’s condition and to ensure that an exam cubicle and a female doctor would be available. Being Chief Medical Examiner didn’t come with an awful lot of perks, but a good working relationship with most of the doctors in the E.D. was one of them.
Possibly out of deference to his passenger, Korsak’s arrival in the drop-off bay was slightly more sedate than Maura’s. By the time he jogged around to open Jane’s door for her, she had already gotten out of the car. It had started to rain; she was barefoot but seemed oblivious to the puddle she was standing in.
“I’ll take her inside, Sergeant,” Maura told him, and Jane’s head shot up at the sound of her voice.
“I’m okay. It’s late, Maura,” she said. “You don’t need...” Her protest trailed off as Maura held out a hand. She clutched onto it as if she were drowning.
“Let’s get you out of the rain.” Maura led her gently across to the ambulance entrance and tapped in the code on the keypad.
“Sneaky,” Jane muttered, watching the doors open. Maura didn’t have the heart to tell her that she had memorized the numbers on the day Jane had shot herself.
The cubicle toward the rear of the department was still empty, with a gown and a blanket laid out in readiness.
“Do you want me to leave while you change?” Maura asked, then watched, horrified, as all the color drained from Jane’s face and she started to sweat. “Oh God, sit down. Bend your head low.” She knelt in front of Jane and took both of her hands.
It was a while before Jane was steady enough to look up.
“He undressed me,” she whispered, her voice hoarse and barely audible. “He knocked me out, and when I came to, I was wearing these. I don’t know what else he did, Maura.” She shook her head. “I can’t feel…I would be able to feel, if he had. Wouldn’t I?”
“Yes,” Maura said, as firmly as she could. “I think you would.”
“He left my underwear on,” Jane said. “First thing I did when I stopped puking was check that.”
“That’s good.” Maura stroked Jane’s hair away from her forehead and pressed a kiss there, before reaching for the gown. “Will you let me help you?”
“Please.” Jane displayed her swollen fingers. “Trust that prick to choose something with a hundred buttons.”
It was by no means the first time Maura had undressed her, but never under such circumstances, and she hoped it would never be like this again. Dominick might have watched Jane and obsessed over her, but he certainly hadn’t understood her; the clothes he had forced her to wear were as far removed from her taste as it was possible to get. Maura unfastened the buttons quickly and pushed the blouse back on Jane’s shoulders. She took a relieved breath. The bra Jane was wearing was the same one she had put on that morning.
“Am I okay to take this off?”
Jane nodded and turned around to make things easier. The skin of her torso was flawless; no bruises or bites, nor any other marks to suggest she had been molested. She threaded her arms into the gown that Maura held out for her, and then wriggled out of the rest of her clothes. When she was done, she leaned her head on Maura’s shoulder.
“Shall we get this over with?” Maura asked, and felt Jane nod against her cheek.
The phone call came as Maura paced outside Jane’s cubicle. In clipped sentences, Frost told her of Dominick’s vehement protestations: that he hadn’t touched Jane, he wouldn’t have done that, he wasn’t that kind of man. Five minutes later, and Maura couldn’t remember her exact response, though she vaguely recalled the use of several four-letter words and she could still feel her hand throbbing where she had uncharacteristically smacked it against the wall. Frost had hung up, leaving her to resume pacing. He had obviously meant well, but the call changed nothing; her faith remained firmly in science and medicine, not in the word of a delusional psychotic whom she had watched touch Jane repeatedly.
The door to the cubicle opened and a nurse walked out, her hands full of evidence bags and samples. The doctor followed shortly afterward.
“She’s asking for you, Doctor Isles.”
Maura nodded, but her feet felt rooted to the spot. “Is she…? Did he…?”
“She’s fine, and no, he didn’t,” the doctor said. “She needed a couple of sutures in each wrist and she has a hangover from whatever sedative he gave her, but you can take her home.”
“Thank you.” Unable to find a Kleenex, she dabbed her eyes dry with her sleeve and then looked up at the doctor. “Will she be able to tell?” she asked, touching her face tentatively, trying to decide whether she needed to go to the washroom first.
“No.” The doctor’s tired face lit up with a smile. “She’d never guess.”
It was probably a lie, but Maura thanked her again and tapped lightly on the cubicle door.
The doctor had brought Jane a set of scrubs to change into, but hadn’t thought to ask whether she was capable of undressing herself. She wasn’t. The abused muscles in her arms had stiffened to the point where moving them was agonizing and there was no way she could unfasten the gown. She left the blanket where it lay across her knees and perched on the edge of the bed to wait for Maura. The soft knock on the door came seconds later.
“Hey.” She gave Maura a small wave and then winced, remembering that that wasn’t such a good idea.
“Hey,” Maura said. Her heels rapped on the tiles as she hurried over, but there was nothing hurried about the way she played her fingers across the back of Jane’s neck. Jane sighed and pushed into her touch.
“Feel like someone took a fucking tire iron to me,” she admitted. She had asked the doctor to give Maura the results of the rape kit, and the sight of Maura’s reddened eyes made her want to avoid the subject.
“You’re going to be sore,” Maura said, “bound like that for hours.” Jane felt Maura’s hand twitch as she shuddered. “Do you want to go home in that gown?”
“What if I help you put the scrubs pants on?”
Jane gave the compromise due consideration and then nodded slowly. “Yeah, that’ll work.”
“Bath or shower?” Maura asked, as she unlocked her front door.
Jane answered without hesitation. “Both.”
They headed straight for the bathroom, where Jane immediately went to brush her teeth, ridding herself of the taste of vomit and whatever cologne or mouthwash Dominick had used. The skin around her mouth felt tender, and a sudden memory of his beard scraping against her face almost made her sick again. She spat convulsively into the sink, then scrubbed and spat some more, only stopping when she felt Maura’s cool fingers on her own, carefully prying the brush from them.
“Come here, sweetheart.”
Maura covered the bandages on Jane’s wrists with Saran Wrap and unfastened the tie on the back of her gown.
“Can you manage the rest?”
Jane nodded and kicked out of the scrubs as Maura undressed herself. The shower was already running, steam filling the bathroom as the water quickly heated. Maura kept to one side of the stall, leaving space for Jane to stand fully beneath the spray, and only moving over when Jane carefully lifted her arms and beckoned her forward. For a long moment, they simply held each other, letting the water pound against them. Jane could easily have stayed there all night, but Maura, ever practical, pulled away slightly and looked at her.
“If I’m going to wash your hair for you,” she said, blinking water from her eyes, “it might be more comfortable if you kneel down.”
On any other occasion, Jane would have teased her for such a suggestion. Tonight, she merely sat on the floor of the shower and bowed her head. She smelled something sweet and fruity—apple shampoo, she guessed—and then she felt Maura’s fingers work their way into the tangle of her hair. Suddenly weary beyond belief, she closed her eyes, concentrating only on what Maura was doing, and trying to forget everything else.
The question had been gnawing away at Jane for hours now. Lying in the darkness of the bedroom finally gave her the confidence to ask it, safe in the knowledge that she wouldn’t have to watch Maura answer. She took a breath to speak, and Maura fumbled for her hand and gripped onto it tightly, apparently sensing what was coming.
“How much did you see?” Jane whispered. “How much did they see?” Shame made her face burn; she found herself grateful again for the darkness. Maura, on the other hand, turned and edged herself closer. She touched her palm to Jane’s cheek as if compensating for her lack of vision.
“Frost linked into the feed about six hours before we found you,” she said. “You were alone when he first brought it up. We thought you were at your apartment, because of the way Dominick had set out the room, so they went there first.”
“But they came back,” Jane said, remembering the way she had cringed and cowered as Dominick yelled at her. It had undoubtedly been safer to play along with him and his perverted little fantasy, but his volatile moods had made that almost impossible. Remaining composed and thinking like a detective was difficult when you had been drugged into a stupor and woken up chained to a bed. She had managed it in the end, but not before she had wept and pleaded for help.
“What else could you have done?” Maura asked, effortlessly pinpointing what was really troubling Jane.
“I don’t know. Fought back somehow, bitten him, or…” Jane shook her head. “Or just bitten him, I guess.”
“You couldn’t move,” Maura said. “Couldn’t kick him or punch him.”
“I could’ve head-butted him.”
“From that angle, you would have been very unlikely to incapacitate him.”
“So, we’re back to biting.”
“We’re back to you doing exactly what you did, which was attempting to stop the situation escalating.”
“I lay there and fucking begged for someone to save me, Maura.” Anger abruptly overcame her shame, forcing her to sit up and switch the light on; she needed Maura to see how much she hated herself for what she had done.
Maura said nothing, just pushed herself up to the same level and waited for Jane to continue.
“After Hoyt, that first time in the basement,” Jane said, at length, “I could barely look Korsak in the eye. For him to have seen me like that, splayed out and so fucking helpless...Jesus, it’s the reason we’re not partners anymore.”
“So how is this any different? Fuck, it’s worse because Frost was there, and Frankie…” Jane’s voice wavered. “And you, you were there, you saw it all.”
“Are you worried I’ll think less of you?” Maura’s tone left her in no doubt as to the answer.
“I think less of me,” she admitted. “So how can you not?”
“Because I don’t,” Maura said, simply. “You’re the bravest person I know.”
“That’s not true.” The look in Maura’s eyes, though, told her it absolutely was true.
“You get up every morning, you dress, and you go to work.”
Jane frowned, confused. “Maura, that’s not bravery, that’s needing to pay the rent.”
“You function, Jane.” Tilting her head, Maura seemed to reconsider. “No, you thrive. Despite everything that happens to you—and an awful lot tends to happen to you—you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with living.”
“I have help with that, though.” Jane took Maura’s hand and laced their fingers together.
“You do now,” Maura said, “but you got most of the way on your own.”
“I need to stop getting into vans with strange men.”
Maura smiled at her. “I think that would be advisable.”
“What about Frost? What would you advise there?”
“Do you want to request a new partner?”
“No.” Relief lightened something in Jane’s chest and she repeated herself, just to make sure. “No.”
“Then don’t.” Maura shrugged. “Get drunk with him and talk about it if you need to, but he probably won’t expect it.”
“You’re very wise,” Jane said. “What did I ever do without you?”
“You coped just fine.”
With one hand, Jane cupped Maura’s cheek, then leaned in and kissed her. “I cope better now,” she murmured.
“Mm, I think we both do.”
“Make a good team, you and me.”
“You and I,” Maura corrected automatically.
Jane laughed. “See what I mean? Without you, I’d be out there fucking up my grammar…” She heard Maura chuckle. “Mixing up my…”
“Yeah,” Jane nodded sagely, “those too.”
“I think it’s time we went to sleep.” Maura leaned over and switched off the light.
“Did we fix everything, Maura?” Yawning but still uncertain, Jane leaned her head back on her pillow, and then thought better of it and inched toward Maura’s.
“Do you feel fixed?”
“I’d say we made a good start then,” Maura said, and took Jane into her arms.
And now for our regularly schedule pimpage for anyone who might be interested in reading some original f/f fiction by me… My first novel, Snowbound (written under the pen name Cari Hunter), is available to buy at Bold Strokes Books or over on amazon (Kindle or paperback.) \o/