Maura let out a gasp as she realised Susie was injured and quickly dropped to her knees. The criminologist was valiantly trying to suppress her tears as her face crumpled in pain. Maura gasped again when she noticed swelling around Susie’s jaw; she had clearly been hit hard enough to fracture the bone.
Susie grimaced as she met Maura’s frantic gaze, her expression apologetic and pained. Maura grabbed her shoulder and pulled her to a seated position as she heard heavy footsteps crossing the room towards them. Maura stepped around Susie and stood to face their unknown assailant.
Except she did know him. She felt Jane’s fear heighten as the man entered the room, his expression victorious and arrogant.
Maura frowned in confusion, tugging at Jane to pull her back. “Detective Lucas! What are you…you’ve been missing for months! What are you doing here?”
Detective John Lucas had been a detective at BPD for around five years. He had first joined the narcotics division and had moved to homicide after Jane’s disappearance. Maura had always felt as if he was an annoyance to be tolerated; his work was adequate but never outstanding, his manners were boorish and misogynistic, his intelligence was average at best. He had apparently disappeared around two months ago, with no explanation or indications as to what had happened. Now he was suddenly here, in Maura’s house….
The tall, heavy-set man smirked cruelly, his eyes fixed on Jane possessively. “I came for what’s mine. It would be a lot easier if you would just stand aside, Doctor Isles.”
Maura realised she had instinctively pulled Jane behind her as soon as she understood the predatory posture of the intruder. She stepped forward, deliberately shielding Jane from view.
Maura’s voice was riddled with ice and threat. “I may not understand what’s going on here, but you won’t be taking anything from this house. I suggest you leave immediately.”
Lucas’ smirk only grew cockier as he stepped towards her, their size difference extremely noticeable as he towered over her menacingly. “Do you now. I’m curious what you think you can do if I decide to stay.”
Without further warning his meaty hands shot out, shoving Maura forcefully towards Susie, who was trying to get to her feet. Maura’s hip collided painfully with Susie’s shoulder, making them tumble to the ground in a tangled heap.
Jane moved to reach out for Maura, her face twisted in panic, but Lucas grabbed her arm and wrenched her towards the door. Jane struggled frantically, trying to pull her arm away. Lucas continued to drag her away, his face clouding with anger.
Maura managed to regain her footing as Jane was about to be pulled across the threshold. She screamed in desperation as she saw the abject fear on her friend’s face. “No! Jane, fight him! Hit him!”
Maura saw a flash of relief on Jane’s face before she turned to face Lucas. Jane’s closed fist swung towards his face, but he managed to avoid it at the last moment, his hand snaking out and trapping her wrist. He used the new leverage to yank Jane’s face level with his.
“Subject 314, stop resisting. Resume mode one.”
Maura was horrified to see Jane’s face go slack, her body relaxing and becoming passive. Lucas dropped her hands, the triumphant smirk on his face making her blood boil. He roughly spun Jane around to face Maura.
Maura couldn’t help backing away in shock. The passive Jane she had tried so hard to banish for the last two days was back. Jane stared at her the same way she had when they had first found each other again; blankly, with no sense of recognition.
Susie had finally gotten to her feet and grabbed Maura’s elbow, pulling her away from the rogue detective and Jane. Maura shrugged out of her grip and stepped towards Jane, ignoring the man still darkening her doorway.
Maura’s voice was pleading and starting to shake. “Jane, please, walk to me. Come over here.”
Lucas’ face morphed into shock when Jane obeyed, her small shuffling steps bringing her to Maura in seconds. Maura grabbed her arm and led her away from Lucas, towards the kitchen. Susie backed away with them, her angry eyes never leaving the detective.
Rage overtook the surprise on Lucas’ face when he saw the three women uniting against him. “Fine. Let’s do this the hard way.”
He flipped back the jacket he wore, revealing a holstered gun fitted with a silencer. Maura and Susie barely had time to stiffen in fear before he had pulled the gun and aimed at Maura. “Now, let go of her. Subject 314, walk back to me.”
Jane started to obey, but Maura tightened her grip and pulled her back. Jane looked between the two, obviously confused.
Lucas huffed in frustration. His eyes flitted between Jane and Maura, evaluating the situation.
Before anyone could react, he shifted his aim to Maura’s left shoulder and fired.
Maura screamed as she felt the bullet penetrate her body, pain ripping through her entire left side as the force spun her petite body and she slammed into the ground. Susie let out a pained gasp through her broken jaw, instantly falling to the ground next to Maura and putting a hand over the wound. Maura couldn’t help the pained whimper that escaped her, but she resolutely opened her eyes and reached for Jane with her uninjured side.
She managed to choke out a pained order, her vision starting to blur with pain. “Jane, disarm him, now!”
Jane moved towards Lucas and reached for the gun, but he was too fast. He stepped back from Jane and spoke again, his voice cruel and vindictive.
“Subject 314, activate mission Infiltrate. Imprint agent Lucas. Initiate.”
Jane looked back at Maura fleetingly, pleadingly, her face filled with terror and regret. Then Maura and Susie could only watch in shock as Jane’s whole body went rigid. Her eyes rolled back in her head and her stance straightened.
Their faces paled as they witnessed a remarkable transformation. The pallid skin they had become familiar with over the past two days darkened and returned to Jane’s natural tone. The scars that marred Jane’s face and head miraculously disappeared, clean unblemished skin replacing the ugly marks without a trace. Jane’s glorious mane of raven hair sprouted from her scalp and grew to its original length in seconds.
After no more than a minute Jane opened her eyes. Maura and Susie gaped at the sight of the old Jane Rizzoli, looking as though not a day had passed. It was as if the abused and damaged person they had met had never existed.
Lucas smiled, his expression even more possessive and predatory than before. He sneered at Maura triumphantly, his eyes flicking to her wound cruelly.
Maura’s vision was still blurring, the pain of Susie’s hand applying pressure almost too much to bear, but she pushed through the agony to croak out a plea. “Jane?”
Jane seemed to wake up. Her head snapped around at the sound of her voice, her eyes taking in the scene before her quickly.
When she noticed Maura’s wound her brow creased in confusion. “Doctor Isles? Miss Chang? What happened?”
Maura gasped at the sound of Jane’s husky voice. She couldn’t help jerking up towards her, with Susie pushing her back down to keep the bleeding under control. Maura cried out as her shoulder hit the ground again.
Lucas stepped forward, drawing Jane’s attention. Her face lit up at the sight of him, which turned Maura’s stomach.
His voice was carefully modulated to be confident and convincing. “It’s okay honey. There was a crazy woman in here, and these two were attacked. They called us for help, we came in and saved them. Unfortunately, Doctor Isles here got caught in the crossfire. I’ll go call an ambulance.”
Jane nodded as Lucas walked away, pulling out his phone. She crouched down next to Maura, who was staring at Jane in bewilderment.
Jane looked questioningly at Susie. “You know what you’re doing there?”
Susie glanced between Jane and Maura, not knowing what to do. She settled on a quick nod, her broken jaw still preventing her from speaking, then returned her attention to Maura’s shoulder.
Jane looked at Maura, frowning at her confused expression. “Doctor Isles, just remain calm. John will get you help. It looks like a through-and-through, it’s not a big deal.”
Maura was on the verge of tears. Jane looked like herself again, she was speaking, but she didn’t sound right. Her tone was much too impersonal, too flippant, and Maura couldn’t remember the last time Jane had called her ‘Doctor Isles’.
Maura swallowed painfully, her emotions as much of a barrier to speaking as the pain. “Jane, what’s wrong with you?”
Jane smiled, a lopsided smirk that Maura had never seen her wear before. “I think you’ve got that backwards Doc. You’re the one doing a Swiss cheese impression. I’ve never been better.”
Maura had to hold back a sob. Jane had sounded so uncaring that it physically hurt.
Lucas picked that moment to return. “The ambulance is on its way. Jane, can I speak to you for a sec?”
The smile that Jane gave him sickened both Maura and Susie. They watched Jane reach out for his hand and intertwine their fingers as they walked out of earshot.
Maura finally let a few tears fall. She craned her neck to watch Jane. Lucas seemed to be doing all the talking, with Jane simply nodding.
Maura felt her insides twisting in fear. She glanced at Susie, who was looking at Jane too. The senior criminalist was obviously trying to figure all of this out, but the frustrated look in her eyes told Maura that Susie hadn’t had any more luck than she had.
After several minutes of anxious waiting and thinking and watching, Maura and Susie hadn’t come up with any ideas. They had no idea what had happened to Jane. She had somehow returned to her normal appearance, looking the same as she had before she had disappeared, but her personality was….wrong. She reacted to Lucas like he was her own personal sun, but she treated Maura and Susie like strangers.
After around five minutes the paramedics arrived. They spotted Maura on the floor immediately and hurried to set up their equipment, blocking her view of Jane. Maura gasped as they moved Susie’s hands away from her gunshot wound, the pain spearing through her with renewed intensity.
Maura’s vision blurred and swam as she valiantly tried to hold on to consciousness. She reached for Susie’s hand futilely as the darkness pulled her under.