Chapter 10 Part I - The Aftermath

Chapter 10 - The Aftermath

Part I

The walls of BPD echoed Jane. With every heavy footstep, every opening of the morgue doors, Maura half expected Jane to waltz in, trademark smirk in place. It was a constant reminder of how things weren't the same anymore.

People, officers and detectives alike, skirted round Jane's desk, mindful that their family was now missing one. Korsak avoided it like the plague. Frankie who used to come upstairs and lounge in Jane's chair, feet up on her desk in cheek had taken to sitting next to Korsak instead. Even Crowe kept his head down, giving it a respectful distance.

No one had yet been hired to fill Jane's shoes; no one ever could.

Cavanaugh had steadfastly ignored the gentle proddings from up above.

Two months in, life continued as it had before Jane's death. Angela still worked in the cafe, Frankie had been made a part of the drugs squad working with Martinez and his crew which left Frost, Maura and Korsak together as part of the homicide team. Frost still turned green and threw up at crime scenes; no change there. The only change was to the dynamics of the trio.

Both Maura and Frost had come to the unspoken agreement that they would be perfectly civil to one another, but aside from work, there hadn't been much in terms of interaction between the two. They'd gone for drinks a couple of times but it had been awkward so that had eventually petered off.

On the murder front, there were still people committing the most gruesome of killings, taking life on a whim because of a lover's quarrel, a family member's greed, a person's addiction to cocaine, a psychopath's ramblings, a priest's devotion to the spiritual beliefs of all that he'd found holy.

Life had simply gone on.

Maura snapped her gloves off, having examined her latest body in the never-ending list. Making quick work of washing her hands, she picked up her dictaphone before making her way into her office.

A few days after the funeral, she'd gone back to work, unable to sit around the house anymore let alone go out, as every room she faced and street corner she turned was filled with a memory of her and Jane. Not that work was much better. She still saw Jane sitting on what she'd coined as the 'dead peoples' table' across from her while she worked on whichever unsuspecting victim, legs swinging, signature grin in place but in between those times, she had at least been able to lose herself in her work, though some days she wondered what the point was anymore.

Briefly, she had considered moving or at the very least getting a job at another precinct within the city but Jane was here, the cemetery but a stone's throw away, what was left of the Rizzoli's were here and her daily visits to her grave were the one thing that kept her going, that gave her a sense of peace, a sense of belonging.

She sighed, head in hands. She could feel a headache coming on. Looking up, chin now on hands, her gaze drifted to the picture of the two of them which took pride of place on her desk. It had been taken in the midst of Boston's coldest winter by far by Angela who'd been standing at the kitchen window watching her two girls as they'd played in the snow alongside Frankie and Frost.

They'd been having a snowball fight, the first Maura had ever experienced given her childhood. In the midst of the fight, everything had gone quiet and Maura had poked her head round from behind the tree she'd been hiding, snowball in hand. Cautiously, she had come out from behind.

"Jane?" There had been no reply, her voice echoing within the confines of Maura's snow covered backyard. She heard stifled laughter coming from behind the snow wall Frankie and Frost had built earlier that day. Arching a well-manicured eyebrow, she made her way over determined to catch them unaware but about 5 feet from her desired targets, she heard the subtle crunch of snow before she was tackled to the ground by her girlfriend, squealing in the process.

"Jane Rizzoli! How dare you!" she exclaimed after they landed with a soft thump, Jane below her having twisted them successfully in order to protect the ME from the impact. Jane only grinned mischievously before abruptly rolling them over and squishing her snowball smack in the middle of Maura's chest, emitting yet another squeal from the blonde as cold wetness trickled under her coat.

She opened her eyes with the intent of seriously reprimanding her but shivered as she saw the look of adoration, love and pure lust her girlfriend was giving her within those dark orbs.

"I love you," the detective said.

Maura snaked her arms round the detective's neck. "And I you," she replied pulling her down for a kiss.

Hearing a chorus of "ewwwws" coming from the boys, they broke apart smiling. Getting to her feet, Jane extended a hand to Maura who graciously accepted.

"I'm going to get you back for that, Rizzoli," she promised.

"Oh yeah? Whatcha gonna do?"she asked, cockiness obvious in her tone.

"This," she said, promptly squishing the snowball she still held in her hand on top of the beanie that covered Jane's head. Taking advantage of Jane's momentary surprise, she ran in the direction of the back door but Jane being Jane, quickly shook off her shock and caught up with the ME taking her by the waist, lifting her off the ground and swinging her round. Maura felt like she was sixteen again as she held onto Jane tightly, laughter taking over her features.

They came to a stop but still Jane didn't put her down. Instead, Maura looked down at her lover, affection and love gracing her already perfect features and Angela had quickly taken the opportunity to capture the moment.

Two lovers frozen in time. It had been perfect.

Yes, they had been better times, she thought as she reached for the picture frame lost in her own memories. As her hands curled round, she frowned feeling something behind. Turning it over, she found a small key affixed to the stand. Detaching it, she examined the key to find a small metal piece with four numbers inscribed attached to it. She seen this type of key before. Searching her memories, she gasped as she realised it was a safe deposit key, the exact same one they'd come across upon investigating a homicide involving a wealthy banker months ago.

Knowledge of the key had been kept between the three detectives and Maura. It had never become public. Which meant it could only have been put there by one of them.

Her heart skipped a beat as she thought of Jane but to do that, it meant she'd have to have done it long before. She turned it over and over considering her options. Who had put it there? Had Jane been the one? When had it be put there? Why?

Briefly, she thought about going upstairs to inform Barry and Vince of her finding but then what were they going to do about it? It's not like any threat had been made towards her. There had been no letter, no indication of harm and she had had no more trouble now that Paddy was safely tucked away in lock up for the duration of his trial, a trial which she had steadfastly refused to partake in for the defence despite his lawyer's threats...

"Doctor Isles, I don't think you understand the consequences of your decision," Mr O'Leary, Doyle's attorney emphasised.

Back straight, tone crisp and clear, fire burning deep within hazel orbs, the Doctor made sure to enunciate every single word. "I may have just lost my fiance but I assure you, Mr O'Leary that I am no fool. I understand what you have said and I stand by my position."

The man ran a frustrated hand through overly gelled hair. "You'd be willing to put your reputation and job on the line for this? To go to jail if you refuse to testify?"

"Go ahead," she'd retorted defiant and recalcitrant. "Do your worst. But let me remind you so WE are clear. The fact that you think I'd act as a character witness for YOUR client when I watched him gun down my fiance in cold blood, YOU, my dear sir, are the fool..."

She took one more look at it before curiosity got the better of her. Against her better judgment, she got up, shrugging off her lab coat haphazardly before grabbing her purse and making her way to the elevator.

There was only one way to find out, and that was to go there.

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