Maura spent the next week unpacking and organizing, getting Will registered for school and after school activities, and interviewing potential part time nannies. In San Francisco, she had someone who watched him after school and several people who were on call when she worked late or got called in the middle of the night. With her new position, which allowed her to set her own schedule and schedules and assignments for district medical examiners, she hoped to limit the number of evenings and nights she would have to work. But she still needed someone to watch him in the afternoon and people she could rely on for other times she did have to work.
Mostly she had tried to keep busy during the past week because when she wasn't occupied, she was plagued with doubts about moving to Boston. It was a good move for her professionally, a promotion to Chief Medical Examiner for the entire state of Massachusetts. A similar position likely wouldn't have been open to her for years in San Francisco. And she wasn't leaving anything behind in her personal life. But she worried about moving William across the country, away from friends and the support system she had established for him and that had worked for them for ten years.
The move had been relatively sudden too. The Governor's office had pursued her and offered her the job over a period of about six months, but Maura had waited until the last possible minute before deciding to accept the position. That only left them with a few weeks to pack and move in time to be settled in before the new school year started. Much of her time prior to the move was spent getting William into a private school that he would be able to continue attending through high school. She found an apartment close to her office, deciding to wait until she knew the city better before finding a more permanent home.
For his part, Will had been treating the whole thing like a great adventure. He was outgoing in a way she had never been and it still surprised her how easy it was for him to simply talk to people and how capable he was at making friends. Although she was always nervous for him, unable to put aside her own feelings of anxiety about new social situations, she also didn't really doubt that he would make new friends at school without any problems.
There were some people she supposed she could call friends in San Francisco, mostly parents of Will's friends, but she didn't feel particularly close to any of them. They weren't people in whom she confided. In fact, she had probably revealed as much personal information to Jane in two conversations than she had to anyone else in years. Jane was just like her son, outgoing and inquisitive without it feeling intrusive. Having a friendship with a co-worker would be unusual for her too. The people she worked with in San Francisco certainly respected her and she knew she was excellent at her job, but she wouldn't have considered any of them to be friends.
Maura couldn't deny that Jane interested her from the moment she saw her playing with her son. Jane had been wearing jeans and a button down shirt with sleeves rolled up to her elbows and Maura thought she had looked simply gorgeous. When they had dinner, Maura noticed Jane rubbing her hands again and for the first time noticed the scars on her hands. Maura had wished for the easy confidence to know how to delicately asked Jane what had happened without resorting to clinical and detached medical language. Instead she had said nothing and hoped for more opportunities to get to know Jane better.
The following week, Maura walked into Boston Police Headquarters with William in tow. Before she could get to the elevator to go down to her office, she heard someone yelling, "Dr. Isles."
Maura was surprised to hear someone calling her name, but smiled when she saw Jane waving her over. She walked over to the counter where Jane was sitting. "Hello, Detective Rizzoli."
"Hi Doc. Hey Billy," Jane greeted them while looking at them curiously. Billy was wearing khakis and a short sleeve button down shirt, which Jane assumed must be some sort of school uniform. But Maura was wearing a green dress and heels and looked like she was ready for a fancy dinner party. "Did school start today?"
"It starts tomorrow," Maura answered. "But there was an orientation for new students this morning."
"What are you doing here? You aren't starting until next week right?"
"Yes, but I wanted to check in on the lab. I ordered some new equipment and supplies. Some of the equipment that was here was woefully out of date."
"Yeah, well, so was the last M.E," Jane joked.
"And there should be some applications for open district medical examiner and lab technician positions I'm hoping to fill as soon as possible, so I wanted to pick those up."
"I want to introduce you to someone. Ma," Jane called to the woman who had just appeared behind the counter. When she came over to them Jane said, "Ma, this is our new Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Maura Isles. Dr. Isles this is my mother, Angela Rizzoli. She runs the cafe here."
"Nice to meet you," Maura said as she shook Angela's hand. "And this is my son, William."
"You can call me Billy," he interjected.
"It's very nice to meet you both," Angela said.
"Ma, can you watch Billy for a few minutes while I show Dr. Isles down to her office?"
"I'd be happy to," Angela agreed. "How about some milk and cookies?" she said to Billy.
"Do you have anything healthier?" Maura interjected. "Maybe some fruit?"
"This is a cop cafe, honey, but I'll see what I can find. You two go ahead. Billy and I will get to know each other."
"Are you sure?" Maura asked. "I probably have about an hour of work to do. He has a book and his iPad to keep him busy if you can just keep an eye on him."
Angela waved her away. "Go, we'll be fine."
"My mother is great with kids," Jane said as she ushered Maura towards the elevators. "What's with the William, Billy thing anyway?"
"Oh, he insists on being called Billy right now. I have no idea why."
"You don't like it?"
"His name is William. I thought he'd like Will if he wanted something shorter. Billy is a new thing and no, I suppose I don't really like it and I'm not even sure where it came from. I was hoping it was just going to be a short phase but he seems committed to telling everyone that it's his name."
"Reinventing himself in a new city?" Jane joked.
"Perhaps," Maura said with a laugh.
"It could be worse. He could want to be called Captain Underpants."
"Why would he want to call himself that?"
"I don't know, but my brother Tommy insisted on it for a while when he was five."
Maura laughed again, not quite sure if Jane was joking or not. They walked out of the elevators and into the suite of labs and offices that made up the medical examiner's department. Maura said hello to the office manager. They had a brief conversation about the supplies and Maura took the applications that had arrived.
As they moved into one of the autopsy suites, Maura said, "While I appreciate the escort Detective Rizzoli, I do know how to get to my office on my own."
"Oh, of course," Jane said, the hint of a blush showing on her cheeks. "I wasn't thinking. Obviously you know where your office is. I'll, uh, let you get to work."
"Oh, um," Maura stammered, inwardly berating herself for attempting what she meant to be a good-natured joke. "I just meant that you're probably very busy, you don't have to stay down here if you have other places you need to be. You've done enough for me already this past week."
Jane shrugged. "I don't have to be anywhere else at the moment. Is there anything I can help you with?"
"I just want to unpack these boxes, make sure everything I ordered is here and put the supplies away. If you open the boxes and check the contents against the order form, I'll put things away where I want them. Does that sound okay?"
"Sure," Jane agreed. "You can call me Jane, by the way. You don't have to keep calling me Detective Rizzoli."
"Only if you call me Maura."
Jane started opening boxes and checking the contents against the list Maura gave her. "So, what's your plan covering the case load and Billy's schedule? If you don't mind me asking."
"My plan is to cover Boston, just like the previous Chief M.E. I've received approval to hire another district medical examiner, so there will now be four to cover the rest of the state. I should only have to cover cases outside the city that are high profile or exceptionally difficult for some reason. The crime lab has been understaffed for a while as far as I can tell. I'm hiring more crime scene techs and lab technicians with the goal of getting evidence turned around faster. Hopefully all of these improvements will make my job easier as well so I have evenings with Will. I just hired someone to watch him. She's a graduate student in biology at MIT. She'll pick him up from school, bring him home, and look after him until I get home. I'm still figuring out what's going to happen on late nights or if I get called in the middle of the night."
"You can always ask me if you need someone on short notice," Jane offered. "As long as I'm not working too, I can watch him."
"Oh, Jane, I wouldn't ask you to use your free time to do that."
"Why not? It's not like I'll be doing anything else."
"I wouldn't impose on you like that," Maura protested. Jane just shrugged and Maura had the feeling that she had somehow said something wrong so she decided to change the subject. "Can you tell me about the other Homicide Detectives here at BPD?"
"Oh, um, sure. So, Korsak has been a detective longer than anyone else in the unit. He's, uh, a really great guy and a great detective. You'll like him. He, um…he used to be partner. Frost is my new partner. He's new to Homicide so he's learning, but he's really smart and he can do anything with a computer. I guess I should warn you though that he's still pretty queasy at crime scenes. Don't expect to see him at any autopsies soon. Crowe and Sullivan are partners. Crowe's an asshole so watch out for him, and Sullivan just does whatever Crowe tells him to do. Ortiz and Connolly are fine. That's everyone in my squad. I can't really comment on anyone else because I haven't worked with them."
"Does Korsak have a new partner too?" Maura asked.
Jane frowned and again Maura felt like she had said something wrong as Jane answered, "Um, not right now. I think he should get a promotion to Sergeant soon. He's basically assisting with everyone's cases now, kinda supervising."
Maura nodded in understanding, although she was sure she was missing something, and then she looked around the lab. "I think we're done unpacking. I should go get Will and finish the errands we have to do today before school starts. Thank you for helping again, Jane."
"No problem. I'll walk you back up to the cafe."
They went upstairs and found Billy and Angela deep in conversation. From what Maura could hear as she approached, they were talking about football.
"He had a banana and cookies," Angela said, with a wink directed at Billy.
"Thank you. How much do I owe you?" Maura asked.
"No charge. And anytime you need someone to look after Billy, I'm happy to do it."
"Thank you," Maura said and then ran her hand over Billy's head, smoothing over the light brown hair that was always sticking up on top of his head. "Ready Will?"
"Are we going shopping now?" he asked.
"Yes we are. Can you thank Mrs. Rizzoli?"
"Thank you Mrs. Rizzoli. It was nice to meet you," Billy said.
"Come visit anytime," Angela said to both Maura and Billy.
"Bye Jane," Billy said. "Do you want to play later?"
"We'll see. It depends on when I get out of work today, okay?"
"Okay," he said happily.
Maura smiled at both Jane and Angela, said, "Goodbye," and they left.
Once they were out of earshot, Angela said to Jane, "Billy told me you played football with him last week."
Jane turned her gaze from the door Maura and Billy had just walked out of to her mother. "I did. He's a good kid."
"How are your hands?"
"Fine," Jane answered, unconsciously flexing her fingers. "Nothing a little ibuprofen couldn't handle."
"From talking with him, it sounds like it's just the two of them. Has Dr. Isles mentioned Billy's father or anyone else?" Angela asked.
"No, she hasn't mentioned anyone else, neither has he, and I definitely haven't asked. But I think it's just the two of them. I'm surprised you didn't get their whole life history today," Jane joked.
"She certainly is beautiful." When Jane rolled her eyes at her, Angela said, "Oh please, don't try to pretend you didn't notice. You're already practically following her around like a little puppy."
"Seriously, Ma?" Jane hissed, looking around to see if anyone could hear them.
"Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating," Angela said softly. "But Janie, you haven't dated anyone since before-"
"I know, Ma."
"So I'm happy to see you interested in someone."
"That's not…I'm just being friendly to a new coworker. Don't make a big deal out of it."
Angela narrowed her eyes at Jane. "Fine. Then I'm happy to see you making new friends. You shut yourself away for so long and—."
"So long?" Jane interrupted. "I've only been back at work a few months."
Angela rubbed her hand up and down Jane's arm. "You've been back at work for eight months and all you do is work. I just want to see you happy."
Jane sighed. "I'm working on it."