Maura stirred again, this time to the sound of agitated voices. No, only one voice, a male voice, apparently arguing with himself. Or someone who wasn’t replying.
Maura cracked an eye open reluctantly, her vision confirming her suspicions. She could see Jane’s back, standing firm between the bed and an angry visitor. Maura realised she recognised the irritated voice as Detective Crowe’s. Around Jane’s still form, she could see his arms waving as he tried to get his point across.
“Rizzoli, move! Korsak called me and said she was ready to give her statement! The sooner she does, the sooner you can be cleared as a murder suspect! What part of that don’t you understand?”
Maura smiled in amusement as Jane slowly stepped closer to him, lowering her head menacingly as she backed him away with merely her stare. Crowe stepped back towards the door, his eyes darting to Maura in consternation, his irritation growing when she met his glance with amusement.
“Look! She’s awake! Now let me past!”
Jane spun around, acknowledging that Maura was awake with a small private smile. Their eyes locked and communicated wordlessly, Maura answering Jane’s concerns about her being ready to see him. Once Jane saw the affirmative response, she smiled again before replacing it with an annoyed scowl. She then turned back to Crowe, giving him another steely glare, before backing away and allowing him to approach the bed.
He warily stopped a few feet away, his eyes flicking suspiciously between the two women, and held out a pad of paper and a pen. “Korsak said you were ready to give your statement.”
Maura took the pad, readying the pen and looking at Crowe expectantly. He looked confused for a moment before he apparently remembered that he was supposed to ask questions. “Oh, right. Uh, please tell us everything you remember about the day Detective John Lucas was killed. Don’t worry about the background information about the organisation he was working for, just give me the events leading directly to his death.”
Maura shared a look with Jane, both rolling their eyes, before she started writing, ensuring she thoroughly recounted each event. Crowe shuffled his feet uncomfortably, still shooting nervous glances at Jane every few seconds.
Maura could understand his uneasiness, since he’d never been particularly kind to Jane. She suspected that Jane’s ability to chase cars and bend metal doors was probably common knowledge within BPD by now. Between that background information and Jane’s bald and scarred physical appearance she cut quite an intimidating figure. The unblinking, unimpressed watch she was keeping on the unwelcome detective was also unlikely to be contributing to his mental comfort.
Maura managed to contain her amusement for the half an hour it took to write out her statement. She had outlined every detail except for Jane’s defiant ‘no’, which felt too personal to share. She finally handed over the pad with a tolerant smile, waiting until Crowe was distracted with reading her words to give Jane a mischievous grin and a nudge, which were returned with a smirk.
Crowe finished reading the statement, giving a satisfied grunt. “That all looks fine, thanks Dr Isles.”
Maura smiled politely at him, hoping he would take the cue and leave. He turned towards the door, but before he started walking, he huffed and turned back.
Crowe fiddled with the notepad, staring at his shoes as he started to talk. “Look, I just wanted to apologise. To both of you. I was the one who told John that you’d be in basement of that building the day he tried to kill you.”
As he uttered his confession, Crowe glanced at Jane, seeming to search for signs of an imminent attack. When he didn’t find any he shuffled the pages some more, uncomfortable but seemingly determined to get through his explanation. “I thought it was dumb to go to some abandoned building to get closure, or whatever it was you were doing, and I thought he’d find it funny too. I didn’t know he was into anything like this. I thought he was just another detective, just like me.”
Crowe sighed, obviously upset, and Maura was surprised to find she felt a little sorry for him. “Anyway, I’m sorry that I had any part in you guys getting hurt. If there’s anything I can do to help you out, just let me know.”
He briefly met both of their eyes, giving an apologetic grimace, before turning and striding out of the room. Both women were dumbfounded by his confession and apology, having never seen Crowe act like a decent person before. They looked at each other in astonishment, neither quite knowing how to react.
Korsak walked in a few moments after Crowe left, smiling happily. “Hi Jane. Hi Maura. Is Crowe done?”
He took in their expressions and stopped, looking worried. “Do I need to go have a talk with him?”
Maura carefully shook her head, which was mirrored by Jane. Korsak looked between them, still confused, but decided to ignore whatever had happened and move on. “Okay, not asking. So, you’ve given your statement?”
Maura scribbled for a moment on her small pad of paper before tearing off a sheet and holding it up. Yes
Korsak grinned at the new sign she’d made. “Any problems?”
Maura smiled as she scribbled on the other side of her sign. No
Jane was grinning too, though she was trying to hide her amusement, which only made Maura smile wider. It was so nice to see Jane getting her sense of humour back that Maura knew she’d be trying to make her laugh at every opportunity.
Korsak allowed them the moment of levity before growing serious. “Okay, good. The reason that I’m here, is that Frankie was at the station when I called Crowe. He heard enough to know you’re awake, and he’s outside with Angela. They want to know if they can come and visit you.”
Maura’s eyes shot to Jane, who had immediately stiffened at the mention of her family. Maura was worried about the reaction Jane might have to being in the same room with them, since she had no idea how much progress Jane had managed to make on distinguishing her own real memories from the false memories of mistreatment forced on her by the organisation. Obviously Jane had started to trust some people, like Susie, Nina and Korsak, and could tolerate others, like the medical staff and Crowe, but none of those people had been set up as triggers for her fear and defensive reflexes.
Korsak caught the worried look in Maura’s eyes. “Jane hasn’t wanted to see them since you were brought in. We asked a few days ago, but she made it very clear that she wasn’t ready yet. I don’t want to force anyone here. Just know that they have both been very worried about you two, and they just want to make sure you’re okay.”
Korsak turned to address Jane directly. “I know you have some bad stuff in your head about these people. But I also know that under all that garbage, you know they are good people who love you. You used to love them too. Now none of this is your fault, and none of it is their fault either. The people who did this are all gone. Are you willing to give this a try?”
Jane had listened intently as Korsak talked, her gaze practically boring through him as she tried to accept what he was saying. As soon as he finished speaking, she looked to Maura with a pleading expression, practically begging Maura to tell her what to do.
In response, Maura grabbed her hand and gave her a confident smile. When Jane still looked wary, Maura moved her uninjured leg, giving her a firm nudge in the side. Jane gave her an indignant look, which faded as she saw the certainty in Maura’s answering stare. After another moment of contemplation, Jane turned to Korsak and nodded.
Korsak smiled, looking back at Maura. “I’ll go and bring them in. Is there anything we should do to prepare them, or any precautions?”
Maura scribbled quickly on the notepad. I think you, Susie and Nina should be here. Make sure Angela and Frankie don’t approach Jane physically unless she asks them to.
Korsak read the instructions and nodded before leaving to get everyone. Jane looked worried again, so Maura gave her hand another squeeze. Jane looked at their hands thoughtfully, before moving to the side of Maura’s bed away from the door and leaning over. “Keep hold, don’t let me hurt anyone.”
Maura’s heart broke a little at hearing Jane’s distressed and fearful tone. Jane was so scared, which was difficult for Maura to see. She suspected Jane was terrified of the painful memories of her family, since she was still unable to completely ignore her conditioning, as well as being scared of what she might do to people she had been told she used to love. It was so frustrating to be unable to reassure Jane with words, but being surrounded by people she trusted would have to suffice. Maura knew that Jane had pushed aside a lot of the conditioning, and this would be a huge test as to exactly how far she had come, and how far she still had to go.
A few moments later, Susie and Nina rushed into the room, both looking flustered. Nina took up a position next to Maura on the opposite side of the bed to Jane, while Susie moved right next to Jane and grabbed the hand not already entwined with Maura’s. Jane’s eyes widened in surprise, but Susie simply gave her a reassuring smile and turned to face the doorway.
Maura realised what they were doing, and was greatly appreciative. Nina was standing between Maura and any perceived threat, which would hopefully allow Jane to focus on her own reactions rather than worrying about Maura’s safety. Susie was acting as both a support, a physical anchor and also a deterrent. If Jane moved towards her family violently, she would have to go through Susie, and apart from Maura the small criminologist evoked the strongest protective instinct from Jane, since they had both been victimised by the same organisation.
Jane looked at Maura one more time, her eyes searching for reassurance. Maura glanced at the two women standing with them before looking back with a certain nod. She was filled with absolute certainty that Jane could do this, and that reconnecting with her family would be a huge step in her recovery.
All eyes snapped to the doorway as Korsak entered. He stepped into the room and stood at the foot of the bed, positioning himself to react to anyone in the room. A few moments later, Frankie followed, looking unsure and nervous. He took a step into the room and stopped, keeping his distance from Jane as requested.
Then Angela stepped through the door, her face wet with tears and filled with hope. Maura felt Jane’s hand tense as her entire body stiffened, her expression turning tempestuous instantly. Susie spun and put a restraining hand on Jane’s shoulder, her voice quiet as she tried to calm her. Maura tugged on Jane’s hand, trying to draw her mind back to the present, but Jane’s accusing glare was fixed on Angela, seemingly unaware of the others in the room. Jane’s body was starting to shake, the tension showing in her rigid posture. Maura wasn’t sure if she was about to run or attack.
After around thirty seconds of Susie frantically whispering, Maura yanking desperately on her arm, Nina glancing fearfully between all the faces in the room and Korsak holding his breath, Jane finally relaxed slightly. She let out a ragged breath, her eyes dropping down to find Maura’s. Her grip loosed on Maura’s hand, but didn’t let go.
Maura closed her eyes for a moment in relief. She could see that Jane was in control of herself again, after disappearing momentarily into her conditioning. The immediate danger of Jane attacking her family had passed.
Frankie had been holding on to Angela’s arm, keeping her still and close to the door in case they needed to get away. He released his grip, but they didn’t move closer. Angela was silently crying, her gazed fixed on her daughter.
Korsak took a moment to evaluate the various emotions in the room before slowly walking over to the Rizzolis. He gently took Angela’s hand, pulling her a few steps closer to the bed, with Frankie following right behind her.
When he stopped them four steps away from the bed, Korsak carefully scrutinised Jane, trying to work out how to proceed.
Angela had apparently reached her limit on patience as her strained voice broke the silence. “Jane? Do you remember me?”
Jane flinched, her grip tensing again, but only briefly. After a few seconds, she relaxed again, looking at Angela searchingly for several long moments before nodding.
The responding smile on Angela’s face was blinding. “Oh, Janie, I’m so glad! I’m so glad to see you! Frankie explained what happened, and what they did to you. To all of you.”
Angela looked at everyone in the room warmly, her eyes coming to rest on Maura, who could just see around Nina. “Maura, thank you so much for finding my Janie. Are you okay?”
Maura nodded with a smile, checking on Jane to see how she was reacting. Jane had a conflicted look on her face, but she seemed to still be under control.
Angela was still smiling, and sounded more relaxed. “Maura, do you know when you’ll be getting out of here?”
As she finished talking, Angela took a step towards the bed. Jane jerked forward without warning, her hand ripping out of Maura’s grip. Susie grabbed her shoulders, trying to hold her in place, and Maura lunged up and caught Jane’s arm. Korsak spun around and pushed Angela and Frankie back to the door while Nina stepped into the sightline between Jane and Angela.
The whole room froze again for several long seconds. Maura could feel pain throbbing through her chest, her ribs protesting against the sudden motion, but she held onto Jane with as firm a grip as she could manage, trying to pull on her arm and get her attention. Jane was breathing shallowly, her muscles rigid once again.
Maura’s strength suddenly deserted her without warning and she lost her grip, falling back onto the bed painfully. She instinctively tried to yell out, which sent a blast of pain through her throat as well, despite her failure to make any sound. Maura screwed her eyes shut against the pain, her hands clenching in the air.
Maura struggled in silence for a few moments before she felt Jane’s hands grab hers, supporting her through the pain. The motion of Maura’s fall and agony had apparently been enough to finally catch Jane’s attention.
After the pain subsided, Maura cracked her eyes open to see Jane leaning above her, apology and worry in her eyes. Susie was still next to Jane, her eyes wide as she still held on to Jane’s arm. The rest of the room was still frozen, everyone looking at Maura with panicked expressions.
Maura managed to unclench her hands, shakily giving the room a thumbs up to signal that she was alright. Everyone breathed out a unanimous sigh of relief as they relaxed.
Angela leaned around Korsak, looking extremely guilty. “Maura, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you, Jane. I know you’re not quite ready to be around me yet. It’s just, I thought I’d lost you, and then I thought you were back once before. Now I know it’s really you, and I am just so sorry I couldn’t find you. That I couldn’t help you.”
She sighed before backing towards the door. “I know you’ve been through a lot and it’ll take some time to figure things out. I just want you to know that I love you, and I’ve missed you so much. I’ll be waiting as long as you need. You just let me know if you need anything, okay Jane?”
Jane tore her eyes away from Maura to look at her mother. Maura could see the internal battle that Jane was still fighting, so she was thrilled when Jane nodded in agreement.
Angela took another moment to look at the people gathered around Jane and Maura, her eyes glistening with proud tears. “I just want to say that you are the best people I could have ever hoped for to be friends with my daughter. You’ve done so much for this family.”
She paused for a moment, needing to suck in a ragged breath to finish. “As far as I’m concerned, you are all family. Please look after my girls.”
She was met by a roomful of smiles, nods and muttered agreements, and turned to leave before she was overcome with emotion. Frankie backed away as well, giving Jane a thankful smile. “Jane, Maura, everyone, thanks for saving me. You didn’t have to come after me, but you did. And Jane? Thanks for trying with me and ma. I know that you’re still mixed up about us, but like ma said, we’re here whenever you’re ready.”
Frankie looked like he wanted to say more, but he simply waved awkwardly and backed out of the room. Jane stared after him for a few seconds, her expression still troubled, before turning to smile at Maura.
As it sank in that the Rizzolis had left without casualties, the tension in the room dropped away. Everyone gathered around Maura, who grabbed her notepad again. It could have been worse.
Everyone chuckled weakly when they saw the message, Susie finally letting go of Jane’s arm. Jane turned to her, giving her a quick one-armed hug, which left Susie looking shocked but happy.
Korsak huffed out a relieved breath. “Well, we’ve cleared Jane, we’ve gotten rid of the organisation, and we’ve survived a Rizzoli family reunion. Can I buy you ladies some lunch in celebration?”
More laughs and nods were his answer. “Jane, can I get you something?”
Jane nodded and returned to her normal position next to Maura. It warmed Maura’s heart when she realised Jane still wasn’t going to leave her, even though she was awake and healing, and despite the fact that Jane had other people she could trust and depend on now. That was fine with her. It would be a while yet before she would be comfortable without Jane nearby. They had gone through too much to find each other again, and they needed some time to help each other heal.
The group hugged both Jane and Maura before leaving, promising to return soon with gifts. Maura smiled after them, realising that they were giving the pair some much needed processing time alone.
Maura reached for her writing pad. Are you alright?
Jane nodded with a smile, determination and conviction threaded through her voice. “I will be. I don’t know when, but I will be.”