1. Christmas 2014
I woke to the gentle breath of my best friend on my neck, we'd arranged for the Rizzoli family to come over and celebrate Christmas with us at my house, so after four hours of decorating the tree and finding space for Tommy, Lydia and TJ as well as Frankie we had gone straight to bed, well everyone apart from Jane and I, who had been given the unfortunate job of putting the gifts under the Christmas tree and filing the newly knitted stocking with gifts from 'Santa' for TJ. I looked around my bedroom and smiled down at the little dog fast asleep in her dog bed, before I felt the strong arms I knew as Jane's wrap around me and pull me closer
"Maur, go back to sleep" she whispered against my hair and I shook my head
"Can't Jane, I'm going downstairs to get the coffee ready" I said removing myself from the warm embrace and looked at Jane for a couple of seconds before she frowned and got out of bed herself. We both put on our dressing gowns before heading down to the kitchen and started preparing the coffee for everyone. TJ and Tommy were the next to wake and as they walked into the lounge you could just see the looks of wonder flit across their faces
"Dada me be good?" TJ asked, at almost two years old TJ had grown so much since his birth, he was quite tall for his age and since Lydia wasn't that tall we gathered that must be from the Rizzoli genes.
"Morning Tommy, TJ" Jane said making her way around the counter and plucking TJ out of Tommy's arms with ease. I watched as Jane covered him in kisses and then tickled his stomach, sending the little boy into a frenzy of laughter.
"Aunty Jane stop please" he breathed heavily trying to catch his breath. It was so great seeing the bond that the two of them had and each time it made my heart swell with pride and happiness, this was a side of Jane that you only saw if she was with her family, a side to Jane that I loved and adored because she looked so content and happy with everything, like nothing not even a murder could ruin this moment.
I handed Jane her cup of coffee and she took a sip before placing it down on the table were she stayed until Angela and Frankie made their way into the room from the guest house
"Good morning Tommy" Angela said pulling Tommy in for a hug, she did the same to Jane and then TJ who was handed over to Angela without complaint
"Merry Christmas everyone" Angela called to the group as Lydia made her way into the lounge dressed in a rather festive gown and I smiled
"Morning Lydia, your usual coffee?" I asked and she nodded
"Thank you Maura" she said as I handed over the cup of black coffee with two sugars. Angela and Frankie came over and grabbed their own before heading over to the couch and sat, with Lydia on one end, Tommy in the middle and Angela and on the other end. Jane was sat on the floor in front of the arm chair and had saved it for me, Frankie who had been left standing was asked to hand out the presents and be 'Santa'. Since TJ was the youngest we started with his presents first, and with the help from his grandma he had them open and scattered across the table within a matter of seconds. From 'Santa' he had a new train for his train set, a couple of books and a bag of chocolate santas, from Lydia and Tommy, he got a couple of new items of clothing, from Frankie a little soccer ball and basketball, Jane had gotten him a Red Sox jersey and I had brought him his first science book, smiling happily to myself when Tommy started reading it with a deep interest, I caught the smirk that passed across Jane's face and then when she looked up at me she doubled over in laughter
"What?" I asked confused and she shook her head
"Don't worry" she said turning her attention back to the opening of presents.
Lydia was the next to open her presents and she smiled triumphantly as she got a whole bunch of different recipe books from each of us, something that Tommy had told us that she enjoyed doing and wanted to continue to do. Tommy was next and he got vouchers mainly and was ecstatic when he'd opened his gift from me which was two tickets to see the first Red Sox game of the season. Frankie opened his presents next getting the same sort of thing and again tickets to see the Red Sox from me which earned me a big hug. My presents were next and I got a bunch of weird knick knacks from Tommy, Lydia and Frankie, but from Angela I got a new research book and from Jane a printed out copy of my published thesis which she had said she hadn't read. I smiled and leant down to hug her and she smiled
"I'm glad you like it Maur" she said and I smiled
"I really like it Jane thank you" I said and she tapped my arm. Jane was next to open her presents, she was given a new set of pots and pans from Angela, a Red Sox t-shirt that had been signed by the whole team from Frankie, Tommy, Lydia and TJ she got a new phone telling her that the phone that she called her baby was now a great grandfather, which caused everyone to laugh. When she was handed her present from me I knew that there could be two reactions to what she was about to see and thankfully she let out the better of the two, especially since it was for a shopping trip and I knew how much she hated shopping but she needed her wardrobe to be updated. Lastly Angela opened her presents with the help of TJ who just loved ripping the wrapping paper, she got a couple of new recipe books for her to try, a couple of bottles of wine, and from Jane and I tickets to see the ballet that was in town for a limited season. Hugs were exchanged before Angela handed TJ to Lydia who handed him straight to Jane, and started preparing breakfast.
The day past relatively quickly after we had all changed from our pjs into more comfortable clothing with TJ, Jane, Tommy and Frankie heading outside to play with the soccer ball that TJ had been given. Whilst Angela and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner and desert. Lydia had headed home for lunch with her mother and said she would be back before dinner. So it was rather peaceful, and when most of the dishes that would be served for dinner were either done or in the oven cooking I headed over to the door and watched Jane and the boys play, watching Jane's every movement as one move was skilfully played straight into the next one. I didn't even regret turning down Jack's offer of spending Christmas with him and his daughter, not that it really mattered much, since Jane's last time in the hospital I hadn't seen him very much and I knew that I was stringing him along but I didn't know how to explain to him that I couldn't see him any more because I had feelings for my best friend especially now since I'd almost lost her twice in such a short time. I was so lost in thought that I didn't notice that Jane had stopped and was looking at me,
"What is it Maur?" she asked and I shook my head
"Nothing" I whispered and she shrugged returning to the game, she knew that if something was truly bothering me I would tell her. I turned to head back to the kitchen but felt the vibrate from my phone notifying me that I had an incoming call coming. Not even bothering to check the caller ID I answered
"Isles" I said and heard the voice that I didn't really want to hear
"Maura, Merry Christmas" the voice said and I frowned heading up stairs to talk to Jack.
"Merry Christmas Jack, how have you been?" I asked not really putting any energy behind the words and he sensed something was off
"Are you alright Maura?" he asked and I shook my head knowing he couldn't see it
"Not really" I answered and he questioned
"Is it something I did? Something I've done?" he asked and I shook my head again, no it was something I had done and should've stopped along time ago.
"Its not you Jack its me, I've changed, my feelings have changed" I told him and heard him sigh
"I guess mine have too, I'm really sorry things didn't work out between us. I really liked you Maura" he said and I frowned
"Me too Jack, I'm sure you'll find the right person though" I said and heard him call out to his daughter
"You too Maura, well I guess I should leave you alone to your Christmas plans. Bye Maura" he said and I smiled
"Bye Jack" as I hung up the phone I felt relief flood through my body, he was a great guy and a charming person but he wasn't the one who had captured my heart. No that was my best friend and the only one who knew my weaknesses and strengths and didn't judge.
"Maura!" Angela called up the stairs "the phones for you" she finished, picking up the phone next to my bed I answered
"Maura darling, your father and I are so sorry that we couldn't be in town for Christmas, he is doing a presentation in Germany in the next couple of days, so we came over to spend Christmas here. Your presents in the mail though" mother said and I smiled
"Thank you mother, your presents should be waiting for you at home when you get back" I answered and she nodded
"Are you alright Maura dear? You sound a little distraught?" she asked and I nodded
"Yeah I'm fine, a little upset but other than that I'm fine" I told her
"Well if your sure. Alright I must get going. Merry Christmas Maura dear and wish the Rizzoli's a Merry Christmas as well. I'll see you when we get back" she said and I smiled
"Merry Christmas to you Mother and say Merry Christmas to father as well. Love you" I said before hanging up the phone and heading downstairs.
About ten minutes before dinner saw Sean and Korsak arriving at the door, when Korsak entered the room he handed me a bottle of red wine and entered the house wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, when Sean entered he handed me a bottle of wine, kissed both my cheeks before heading to the kitchen and kissing Angela. Walking into the lounge I saw the same look on Jane's face that must've been on mine. Since when had they restarted their relationship. I shrugged it off and we made our through to the dining room table where we gathered to eat. TJ at one end of the table and the rest of us filing in beside him. I smiled at the group of people who were here to celebrate the festivities and knew that this was something that I had missed through out my whole life, up until the day Jane and I had become friends.
"Before we dig in and start our meal I would like to say a big thank you to Angela and Maura for cooking our delicious looking meal that we are so gracious to have. I would like to thank Maura for the invitation and I am truly honoured to have been asked here for dinner" Sean said raising his glass and smiling widely, I smiled and inclined my head in acknowledgement as everyone grabbed their glasses for a toast
"So everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" he said and we all cheered, clinking glasses and taking a sip of the wine. All in all this was a good Christmas.