Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Disclaimer: I'm curious, has anyone ever ACTUALLY gotten in trouble for writing a fanfic and either not including a disclaimer, or outright claiming ownership of the original characters? Does anyone actually think someone who had any legal rights to any tv/movie/book/etc character would be writing stories to post online for anyone to read, when they could be writing stories to be turned into an episode/movie/book/etc and make actual money? No one with half a brain, a modicum of common sense, would believe me if I claimed ownership of any part of Rizzoli and Isles. I doubt anyone thinks anyone associated with the creation of Rizzoli and Isles sits around writing fanfics.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse
Feedback: I welcome any feedback. I read it all, and respond when I have something of substance to say.
Author's Notes: This is the sequel to my other story, "Something to Talk About." You should probably read that one first, since this picks up right where the first part left off. If you choose not to read the first story, don't complain when you're lost and confused. If you do complain, then I will laugh, point out this author's note, and probably make fun of you. Consider yourself warned.
Pairing: Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles
Summary: Jane and Maura are planning their wedding, and Angela is intent on 'helping.' Sequel to Something to Talk About.
It was late on Friday, when they were ambushed. They'd spent all week working a double homicide, that turned out to be a son trying to get his inheritance early. Cavanaugh told them all to go home, and not come back until Monday. They were exhausted, and no one wanted to argue with the unexpected time off.
They stopped for food on the way home, mostly because Jane insisted that she needed pizza and beer to end the week. They walked in the door, and found Angela in the kitchen. The dinner table was covered in bridal magazines. The couch and coffee table sported fabric swatches and paint samples. When she heard them walk in, she started fixing plates of food.
Jane groaned, turning to go back out the door, before Maura stopped her. "She's your mother. We both knew this couldn't be avoided. Maybe if we listen now, she'll be content to let us do the rest of the planning on our own."
She turned, mumbling under her breath and almost stomping the rest of the way into the house. "Don't hold your breath. She'll NEVER stop."
Angela smiled, walking around the counter to meet them, "You can just put that pizza in the fridge. I made you guys dinner, and pizza really isn't good for you."
Sitting in one of the stools at the counter, since nowhere else was really an option, Jane glared at her. "That's kinda the point. After this week, I just want to eat greasy pizza, drink beer, and go to bed. Probably in that order. Nowhere in there is there room for whatever THIS is." She gestured to the mess that'd taken over most of their living space.
Maura walked over and started to massage Jane's neck and shoulders. "Maybe we could listen to some of Angela's ideas while we eat our pizza. We can put the pasta away and have it tomorrow. Would that be an agreeable compromise?"
Jane didn't answer, but Angela was quick to agree. "That sounds just fine. I'll just get this put away and clean up a bit before we start. You guys can eat while I get situated. Jane, I don't want you getting greasy fingerprints on any of my magazines or samples."
Ignoring her, Jane opened the pizza box to grab a piece, taking a huge bite. Maura smiled at her, before going to grab plates and drinks. Sitting down, she handed Jane her beer before putting a piece of pizza on her own plate. They ate in silence while Angela bustled around them. The pizza was almost gone when they finished eating.
Angela cleared away their dishes before ushering them over to the magazine strewn table. "Ok, I thought we could decide on colors, first. You're having a spring wedding, right? I was thinking red and gold. Red is the color of love, after all, and gold goes so well with both your complexions."
Jane's response was immediate, decisive, and short, "No."
Angela looked to Maura, clearly hoping she'd help convince Jane. "Come on, Janie. You didn't even think about it, and you didn't give Maura a chance to respond. What if she likes the idea? You can't just decide something without thinking about it and discussing it with everyone else."
Feeling Maura's hand squeeze her thigh under the table, Jane sighed. "Ma, do you remember what we do for a living? We solve murders. Now, I don't care if red is the color of love. In our line of work, red is the color of blood. There will be NO red in our wedding. And I don't want to have a spring wedding."
Not missing a beat, Angela shuffled some of the magazines around. "Ok, so a summer wedding? Not quite as pretty as all the spring flowers, but less likely to have bad weather. Since you don't want red, then maybe a nice pink and white. Pink is still the color of love, and it will look lovely in a summer wedding."
Turning to Maura, Jane smiled hesitantly, "We haven't talked about it, but I was thinking maybe a winter wedding. I don't want it too close to Christmas or Valentine's Day, so I was thinking maybe the middle of January?"
Maura smiled sweetly, "That sounds lovely. When doesn't really matter to me. I have no particular attachment to any one season or month. So, the middle of January sounds good, to me. We can work out an exact date when we start looking at locations."
Angela sputtered, frowning a little. "But January's only a few months away. I'm not sure how well pink will work with a winter wedding, but I'm sure we can figure something out. Oh, they'll have Valentine's Day decorations out, so we can get little pink and white cupids to decorate with. I just don't know how we're going to manage to get everything planned by then."
Giving Jane a small wink, Maura spoke calmly, "I'll start looking for a wedding planner in the morning. They'll have contacts and resources that will help speed the process along. It will also mean most of the small details actual preparations will be handled by someone else. We'll still make the decisions, but won't have to worry about how to implement them. With our often unreliable schedules, it's much more practical. It just wouldn't be fair for you to end up doing all the work, Angela."
Sitting back, Angela sighed. "Well, if you're sure. I don't really see the need to waste money to pay someone for something I can help you with. But, I guess it will make planning easier if someone else is running around buying everything. As long as this wedding planner understands they don't get to just make decisions on their own. You don't want to end up with someone who ignores your wishes. It's your wedding day, after all."
Jane rolled her eyes, managing to hold back before snorting in disbelief. "Don't worry, Ma, we won't let that happen. Now, it's been a long day, at the end of a long week. I want to go to bed. Please clean this mess up before you leave. We can talk more about the wedding after we pick a planner."
Jane sighed in relief, finally relaxing fully. "So, this wedding planner will be able to keep Ma from turning our wedding into a pink and white cupid filled nightmare?"
Chuckling, Maura lifted her head from Jane's shoulder to look at her. "Yes. When we talk to the planners, before we hire one, we'll explain the situation. A good planner will be able to take what we want and make the ideas better, and hopefully make Angela think she planned the whole thing. Even if Angela wasn't so insistent on helping, I would still want to hire a planner. It really will make things much easier on us. A good wedding planner will have experience planning dozens of weddings. They'll not only have contacts we lack, but will know what works and what doesn't. And, we can specify that there is not to be any pink, or cupids, anywhere in our wedding."
Kissing her forehead, Jane closed her eyes to sleep. "Ok, good. I love Ma, but she's not allowed to plan our wedding."
After a few days, Maura had it narrowed down to five potential candidates to interview. Jane vetoed one as soon as she saw the web site, on the basis that anyone would could look THAT happy in a cotton candy pink tux wasn't getting anywhere near her Ma and her ideas of pink and white cupids. Maura sighed, rolling her eyes, but agreed and started making calls to the other four to set up interviews.
They agreed not to tell Angela about the interviews, until they'd hired a planner. It was deemed safer to avoid the possibility of her meeting any of them before they'd had the chance to explain the situation, and make sure whoever they hired would be willing and able to fend off any and all of Angela's ideas.
Jane decided they weren't hiring the first planning, as soon as they met him. He gave Jane one look up and down, sniffed, and spent the rest of the meeting ignoring her. Maura found him delightful, but readily agreed that they would not be hiring a planner who treated Jane like she was unimportant or beneath them.
The second interview looked promising, for the first few minutes. The woman was in her sixties, and reminded Jane a little of her favorite aunt. She greeted them both with hugs and listened attentively while they explained some of the basic ideas and details they'd decided on. She happily agreed that Jane's mother should be involved, without actually making any decisions.
Then, Maura put her hand on Jane's while she talked. The woman's eyes narrowed, and she looked back and forth between them and their hands on the table. She stood, explaining rather loudly, that as a Mormon, she could not help 'their' type of people get married and that she had been led to believe that Maura was the Maid of Honor. Jane and Maura stared at her in disbelief as she stalked out of the restaurant with her head held high.
They both liked the third candidate. After the episode with their previous meeting, Jane made sure to point out that it would be a wedding between two women. He was perfectly fine with that, explaining that he started in the wedding planning business when his sister asked him to be her best man, right after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. When Jane started to describe her mother, and explain how they would need him to deal with her, he started laughing. Apparently, he'd not only dealt with numerous overbearing mothers, but had helped fend off his own mother during his sister's wedding.
By the end of the meeting, Jane was ready to go ahead and hire him. Maura insisted they meet with the final candidate, to give them a full idea of their options. After that, if they needed to, they'd sit down and decide which of the two planners would be their best option. Knowing better than to argue, Jane agreed to go to the meeting the following day.
Maura liked the final candidate, immediately. He greeted them in French, with a kiss on the cheek. They spent the next couple minutes talking and laughing in French, while Jane stared at the menu. Maura finally introduced Jane, and explained that they'd been discussing what areas of France each had visited. The rest of the meeting went well, and Jane started to really like him. Then, she jokingly mentioned Angela's idea of the pink and white cupids, and he practically cooed. He spent the rest of the meeting talking about how important it is to make the mother of the bride feel included in the planing process, and creating an entire scenario around pink and white cupids.
They got in Maura's car to go back to work, looked at each other, shook their heads, and Maura got her phone out to call Mark, the planner they'd met with the previous day.
Mark showed up with a laptop and small portfolio. Angela came in the back door carrying a large box and ordering Jane to help with the rest. Jane and Mark shared a look and nod, and she went to grab another box of magazines and samples that would hopefully STAY in the box.
Once they were introduced and settled, Angela started talking about the ideas she'd come up with.
She pulled out several magazines and spread them across the coffee table, pointing out various pictures. "Now, I was thinking we could do pink and white. Janie doesn't want red, because she claims it'll remind her of blood, but pink is still the color of love. Being so close to Valentine's Day, it should be easy to get pink and white cupids to decorate with. We can hang them from the ceiling, have pink table clothes at the reception with white cupids in the centerpieces, and have a cupid in the center of the bows on the end of each pew."
Mark dutifully looked over each picture and listened as Angela talked. When she was done, he waited a moment before responding. "While that would be lovely, I just don't know if it fits with the timing of the wedding. February is all about Valentine's Day and cupids and red and pink hearts. January, however, is more focused on the beauty of fresh snow and icicles. I just don't know if having pink as one of the colors would fit in with that."
Jane watched, in shock, as Angela thought about it, before seeming to agree.
She nodded. "I think you're right. It would be like having a Christmas party in November. So, what colors do you think would work well? I think the white would still be perfect."
Jane was still staring at her mother in shock, so Maura answered. "Well, Jane wants emerald green, and I was thinking an ice blue to go with it. We could have most of the decorations be white, with accents of the green and blue."
Angela looked at Jane with something akin to disapproval. "Oh, but, Jane, green isn't a very wintery color. Why not just do the white and blue?"
Jane smiled shyly at Maura. "That color green always reminds me of Maura's eyes."
Maura blushed lightly, leaning in to give Jane a kiss. Angela cooed over the sentiment, hands clasped over her heart.
Mark smiled at the couple and gave a small nod. "Ok, then emerald green and ice blue, it is. Picking the colors is actually one of the harder things to settle on. From there, isn't picking decorations and themes that go well with those colors. Have you thought about using the weather to your advantage? Januaries in Boston never have a shortage of snow. We could look for a reception hall that looks out onto a nice garden. The snow will make it very picturesque."
The ladies all nodded, like the idea.
Maura spoke up, a little hesitantly, "Do you think we could have an ice sculpture? Nothing overly large, and sculptures that look like us. Maybe a nice abstract, or a winter scene."
Unused to Maura sounding unsure about anything she wanted, Jane looked at her oddly. "Why do you sound like you're not sure you're allowed to ask for an ice sculpture? It's your wedding, too. If you want an ice sculpture, then you should have one."
Maura turned to look Jane in the eye. "I just know how you feel about spending money on extraneous items. An ice sculpture has no purpose beyond the esthetic, and it's not something that can be reused, later. I just didn't know if you would want to spend money on something that would probably only exist for one day."
Jane pulled her into a hug, kissing the side of her head. "Babe, it's our wedding. I decided awhile ago that I would ignore my more practical side and just go with whatever we want. I know better than to ask you what any of this will cost. You like nice things, and nice things cost money. I'm marrying you, I'm gonna have to get used to things having price tags larger than my paychecks. We'll get an ice sculpture, if you want one."
She turned to Mark, with a thought. "Can they make an ice sculpture out of colored ice? Maybe not green, that probably would end up just looking gross, but the blue would probably look nice."
Smiling, he nodded. "Yes, it's a simple matter of adding food coloring to the water. You could also have the sculpture sitting on a lighted platform and have either blue or green lights, or possibly alternating, shine up through the sculpture. Either option will make it just a little more interesting to look at."
Maura leaned up to give Jane a kiss, before smiling at Mark. "Thank you. I think they would be lovely. We can decide on details, once we have a central theme figured out."
It was Jane's turn to sound hesitant, "This may be a stupid idea, since I've never really even planned a birthday party, but what if we make it a winter theme? If we're already going to have a snow-covered garden and an ice sculpture, why not decorate with snow flakes? Or would that be tacky?"
She started to get nervous when everyone just stared at her, not speaking. Finally, Angela clapped her hands together, almost bouncing in her seat. "Oh, I think it's perfect. And we can start getting decorations early. They have all those pretty, little snowflake and icicle ornaments and decorations out for Christmas. It'll be like a winter wonderland. You can have a horse-drawn carriage instead of a limo."
Jane waited until she saw Mark's nod before smiling at Angela. "Ma, I think that's a good idea. I don't want it looking all Christmasy, more like one of those old winter postcards. Do carriages have heating? If they don't have heating, I do not want to freeze to death riding in one in January, in Boston. Can those things even go out in the winter? Wouldn't the horses get cold?"
Mark chuckled. "Yes, most horse-drawn carriages are able to go out in the winter. The carriage companies equip the carriages and horses so they can travel in the snow. The horses can get cold, but they're grown a thicker coat for winter, and wear blankets to fend off the worst of the cold. The main concern, like you said, is that carriages are not heated. We can wait until closer to the wedding date before deciding if you want a carriage. Most companies and drivers only require reservations a couple weeks in advance, anyway."
The rest of the meeting was spent looking through pictures of other weddings Mark had planned and discussing potential venues. It wasn't until he left that Angela noticed that almost all the magazines and samples she'd brought had stayed in their boxes.
They were on call that weekend, but Mark knew that there was always a chance they'd get called away for a case. He came over Saturday afternoon, so they could start discussing venues. With the wedding just a few months away, they needed to find a place soon so they could reserve it in time.
Jane left most of the discussing up to Maura and Mark. They spent about 30 minutes debating the merits of different hotels and event halls, most of which Jane had never heard of. Angela was doing her best to add to the conversation, but she was familiar with fewer of the locations than Jane.
Finally, Angela seemed to give up, and spoke out of seemingly nowhere, "I saw Father Stevens at the grocery store the other day. I told him you were married, and he said he would be happy to perform the ceremony."
Jane stared at her for a moment, blinking. "Did you tell him I'm marrying a woman?"
Angela just shrugged. "No, I didn't see any reason to. It didn't come up, and I don't think it really matters. This is Massachusetts, after all. You can marry another woman, if you want to."
Smiling, Jane got up to give her a hug. "Thank you, Ma, you don't know what that means to me. I just don't think Father Stevens would have agreed if he knew who I was marrying."
She gave an indignant huff, "Why in the world, not? You're a beautiful couple, and Maura is a wonderful person. I just don't see why it should matter if she's a woman, or not."
Maura tried to explain, "Angela, the Catholic Church does not condone gay marriage."
Looking somehow proud of herself, Angela sat up just a little straighter. "But, you've said so, yourself, neither of you is gay."
Sighing, Maura continued to speak calmly and plainly, "No, but for all intents, we are a homosexual couple. The Catholic Church wouldn't allow two women to be married by one of their priests, or in one of their churches. Rather or not we label ourselves as gay, doesn't matter. All that matters, to the Vatican, is that we are both women."
Angela looked personally offended and angered by the explanation. "That's just ridiculous. You're in love. There is nothing wrong with falling in love. Well, if the Church is going to condemn my daughter for falling in love, then I just find somewhere else to attend holiday services. I have half a mind to go have a talk with Father Stevens. You are a beautiful woman, Maura, inside and out, and I am happy to have you in my family. Anyone who can't understand or support that just doesn't need to be around me."
It took Jane a moment to decide if she wanted to give her another hug, or ask the question that was thoroughly confusing her. "Ma, what did you think they meant when the Church said that homosexuality is a sin?"
She answered offhandedly, "I never really thought about it. I guess I just thought they meant real gays, like the ones you see on tv. You both like men, so you can't be gay. I guess I just never thought that it could apply to you."
Jane shook her head, rubbing her face before looking to Maura for help, who just put both hands up in a hopeless gesture. "Ma, that's tv. You can't believe everything you see in a sitcom. Real life is nothing like Will and Grace. You don't believe everything you see on Friends, do you?"
Angela gave a quiet snort, "Of course not. But I don't know any real gays, so I hardly have anything to compare it to, do I?"
Sighing, Jane decided to let the argument die. "No, I guess not."
Seeing an end to the family discussion, Mark spoke up, "It shouldn't be too hard to find a place to hold the ceremony when we look at reception venues. Do you have someone in mind who can perform the ceremony? If not, I know several ordained ministers and justices of the peace that would be willing to do so."
Looking at Maura, Jane answered, "Actually, I was thinking of maybe asking Korsak if he'd do it. I'd like him to be part of it somehow, anyway."
Maura smiled, "I think that'd be perfect, and I'm sure he'd be honored. There's plenty of time for him become a justice of the peace before the wedding, as long as you ask him soon. Should we have him over for dinner, or would you rather ask him on your own?"
She thought about it a moment, "I think we should ask him, together. Dinner sounds like a good idea. We can have Frankie over, too. I want to ask him to be my best man. And I'd like Tommy to be an usher, so maybe we should just have a big dinner and invite everyone."
Maura looked sad for a moment, "I hadn't thought of needing a Maid of Honor. I think, in the back of my mind, I had always assumed that, should I end up getting married, I'd ask you to hold that title. Now, I'm at a loss as to what to do. I don't have any other close female friends, and no close female relatives. Do you think, since you're asking Frankie to stand with you, it would be acceptable for me to ask Barry to stand with me? I think, after you, I would have to consider him my closest friend, and we might not be together if it weren't for him."
Jane pulled her into a hug, kissing her softly. "Babe, you can ask whoever you want. If you want to ask Frost, then ask him. I'm sure he'll be happy to stand with you, as long as you don't try to make him wear a dress. Although, we don't know what he does when he's at home."
Laughing, Maura pulled away to smack Jane on the shoulder.
Before she got a chance to say anything, their phones rang.
A moment later, they were making their excuses and getting ready to leave.
Mark smiled, and started gathering up the brochures and other papers he'd brought. "You guys go. We can schedule another meeting when you have an idea what your schedules are going to look like. I think we accomplished about all we can, today, anyway. I'll start making calls to see if the places we talked about today are available in January, and I'll let you know. Just email or call me with any ideas or concerns. Oh, and if you could come up with a rough idea of how many guests we're looking at, it'll make narrowing down venues easier. Now, go catch the bad guys."
They smiled, waving as Mark got in his car, before heading off to the newest crime scene.
Angela insisted on cooking, then badgered Jane until she agreed to help. Maura put on an apron and actually rolled up her sleeves, eager to help.
Nudging Jane, Angela pointed to Maura, who was covered up to her elbows in flour. "Why can't you be more like Maura. All your life, I've been trying to get you to help in the kitchen. Each time was like pulling teeth. I just wanted you to be able to cook for your family, and have someone to pass the family recipes on to. Well, at least I now have a daughter that wants to help and learn. I was afraid the family recipes would die with me."
Jane snorted, working on washing the vegetables. "Ma, you have four sisters. All of them have at least one daughter. Several of THEM already have kids. There was never any chance of the family recipes dying with you."
Maura sniffed, wiping her face on her upper arm. Both women turned to her, concerned, and she waved them off. "No, I'm alright. Really. I just didn't know you saw me that way, Angela. You've said, before, that you were glad to have me in your family, but that's the first time you called me your daughter."
Angela rushed over, ignoring the flour, and pulled her into a tight hug. "Of COURSE you're my daughter. You're marrying my Janie, and I love you. You're family, now. Don't you ever forget that. You're just as much my daughter as Janie is. Love makes a family every bit as much as blood does. If you'd like, you can even call me, Ma."
Maura smiled, hugging her back. "Thank you. I always wanted a mother like you. You don't know what it means to me that you see me as a daughter. I think I'd like to keep calling you Angela, though, if you don't mind."
She smiled, kissing Maura on the forehead. "Whatever is comfortable, for you. Just never doubt that you are well and truly a part of this family. Even if you and Janie decide not to get married, you'll still be a part of this family."
Jane leaned over to give Maura a quick kiss. "Not gonna happen, Ma. I love her too much to let her get away."
While they were cleaning up, Maura pulled Jane into a kiss.
Pulling away, Jane looked at her. "Not that I'm complaining, because I'm not, but what was that for?"
She smiled, gave Jane another kiss, and grabbed another plate to finish clearing the table. "I love you. And, you gave me the family I always wanted. They're loud, they argue and tease each other, but there's love. You all love each other, and now, I'm a part of that. I have everything I always wanted, and it's all because of you. So, that was a thank you. Thank you for loving me, and sharing your family with me."
Jane smiled, kissing her again. "Babe, I would give you the world, if I could. I want you to have anything you want. I just want you to be happy. If sharing my crazy family makes you happy, then I'm glad. I don't think there was ever a chance that they wouldn't love you, though. You're easy to love, and have such a big heart. Anyone who gets to really know you has to end up loving you."
Just then, Frankie yelled from the couch, "Hey, no more mushy stuff. I didn't come here to watch my sister make out. So, tell us why we're really here."
Jane groaned, still smiling. "Are you still sure you want my family?"
Smacking her arm, Maura led Jane into the living room. "Yes, we did ask you to dinner for a reason. We have something to ask each of you. Vince, we wanted to know if you'd be willing to officiate at our wedding."
Korsak looked at Jane for confirmation, smiling when she nodded. He got up to give them both a hug, before answering. "I would be honored to. Thank you."
Jane turned to Frankie. "I wanted to know if you'd be willing to be my best man."
He smirked. "Does that mean you're the groom? I always knew you were the man. You're just too butch not to be."
She smiled sweetly in response. "Would you rather I call you my bridesmaid? We can have it listed in the programs, and everything. I'm sure Maura would be willing to help you pick a dress. Maybe a nice strapless number."
Frost choked back a laugh and Frankie put both hands up in surrender. "Nope, best man's good. I'll shut up, now."
Maura jumped in, to prevent further teasing, "Barry, I wanted to ask if you would be willing to stand with me. After Jane, you are my closest friend, and we might not be together if it weren't for you."
Frost looked a little teary eyed as he answered. "Wow, I'm honored. Yes, I'd be happy to stand with you."
After a few seconds, Frankie spoke up, looking at Frost out of the corner of his eye "Wait, does that mean Frost and I will be walking down the aisle together?"
Jane thought about, turning to Maura. "You know, we hadn't really discussed that. We'll figure it out. Maybe you'll end up wearing that dress, after all, Frankie. You and Frost will make an attractive couple."
Jane's eyes narrowed slightly when Frankie and Frost looked at each other, and Frankie seemed to almost blush.
Shaking her head, she turned back to Maura. "Do you think Mark will have any ideas? I hadn't even thought about it."
Thinking for a moment, Maura nodded. "I'm sure he'll have some ideas how to handle the logistics of having two men standing with us. He's done several same-sex weddings, so I'm sure the issue has come up, before."
After a moment, Korsak asked, "So, will I need to wear a tux?"
With that, the rest of the evening was spent discussing what they already had figured out, and tossing ideas back and forth.
Sitting up, she turned to look at Maura, "Babe, have you told your mother about us, yet?"
Maura nodded, unconcerned. "Yes, I sent her an engagement announcement about a week ago. She's in Munich, right now, so she should be getting it soon."
Jane's mouth opened to speak, then closed again. A moment later, she seemed to have gathered her thoughts enough to actually speak. "You, sent your mother an engagement announcement? Through the mail? You didn't call her? Send an email? You didn't tell her we were together, before this? You just sent her an engagement announcement. In the mail. To Munich."
Sitting up, Maura looked confused. "Well, yes. With the time difference, it's hard to call, and I don't want to interrupt anything important. Email is hardly an appropriate way to inform someone of important news. An engagement announcement seemed the best option. Even if I was able to to speak to her in person, she would still expect to receive a formal announcement in the mail."
Rubbing a hand over her face, Jane sighed. "But, still. You didn't tell her we were together, before we got engaged? She's just going to get an engagement announcement in the mail, when she doesn't even know we were dating? Isn't she going to be upset? Jesus, I think Ma would kill me three different ways if I did something like that."
Fidgeting with the sheet covering her lap, Maura looked up through her lashes. "Are you upset I didn't tell her, before? It's just that, we did get engaged awfully fast. We started talking about getting engaged before our first date, then I was looking at rings, and yours was done, and it just seemed to make more sense to wait until we were actually engaged. I'm sorry if I did something wrong. I really didn't think it would matter."
Pulling her into a hug, Jane buried her face in Maura's hair. "No, Babe, I'm not upset. Not really. I'm just worried that your mother will be upset. I mean, seriously, Ma would KILL me if I didn't tell her as soon as I got engaged. Hell, she almost DID kill me, when she thought we hadn't told her first. I know your mother is nothing like Ma, but I think it's a mother-thing to want something more personal than an announcement to tell them their kid's getting married."
Holding her tighter for a moment, Maura pulled away. "Ok, I can see your point. I guess I'm just not used to her wanting to hear about my life. Then again, I've never had news, before, that was this important. Will it help you feel better if I call her, tomorrow?"
Jane kissed her on the forehead, pulling her back down to cuddle. "Yes, I think that would help. I don't want your mother to be mad because we didn't tell her soon enough. Hey, Babe, what about your father? You never really talk about him. Did you send him an announcement, too? Shouldn't you give him a call?"
Maura sighed. "Yes, I sent him an announcement. I'm not sure if I should call him, or not, but I am inclined to believe it won't be necessary. We were never close, not even as close as Mother and I are. He was always either away on business or in his office. Father didn't like to be disturbed when he was working, and if he was in his office, then he was working. We correspond occasionally, but usually only for birthdays and holidays. I don't believe we have spoken in person in since my graduation from medical school. I'll send him an invitation to the wedding, of course. If he's not to busy with work, I'm sure he'll try to make it."
Jane pulled her closer, almost on top of her, kissing her head. "Oh, Babe, I'm sorry. I forget that you didn't grow up with a family like mine. I can't even imagine someone NOT wanting to spend time with you. Anytime you need to feel loved, or like part of a family, just let me know. I will do anything and everything I can to make you happy. We can have as many big Rizzoli family dinners as you can handle. I'll introduce you to my Great Aunt Edna, and she can pinch your cheeks. Ma's already adopted you, so you're never going to have privacy again. Frankie and Tommy will always have your back and all you have to do is ask if you need their help. Babe, you are loved, and I never want you to forget that."
Maura's eyes were shining with tears, and love, when she met Jane's gaze. "I know, Jane. You gave me a family, and more love than I ever believed one person could feel for another. I haven't doubted I was loved, for a long time. Not since before we became a couple. The few times I started to doubt it, since we became friends, you would always end up showing up with a coffee, or sending a text, or inviting me over for pizza and a movie, or somehow reminding me that you were there for me, even if you didn't know I needed you. It's probably been more than a year since I needed that reassurance, because you've never given me any reason to doubt that you cared about me and would be there when I needed you."
Jane grasped her face in both hands, reaching up to kiss away the tears, before placing a loving kiss on her lips. "I love you. You are the most important thing in my life. You are my home and my world. If you EVER begin to doubt that, even just a little, I want you to tell me, and I will do whatever it takes to erase that doubt. Can you do that for me?"
Maura nodded, biting her lip as Jane's hands began to roam her body, caressing every inch of skin she could find as she slowly inched her shirt up and over her head, before rolling Maura underneath her.
Leaning down, she kissed down Maura's neck to suck lightly just behind her ear. "Good. I never want you to have any reason to doubt my love. I will always do my best to show you just how much I love you."
Before morning, Jane had worshipped every inch of Maura's body, until the only feeling there was room for was love.
When Constance Isles answered, she sounded genuinely pleased to hear from her daughter. "Maura, darling, this is unexpected. To what do I owe this pleasure?"
Maura smiled, a little of her nerves subsiding. "Mother, I had some news I wanted to share with you. You'll be getting an official announcement, soon, but I wanted to tell you before then. Do you remember Jane? You met her and her mother, Angela Rizzoli, when you were in town."
Her tone was somewhere between dismissive and concerned. "Yes, yes, of course I do. Tall, slim build, very bold and protective of you. Could do with some better clothing, but I guess coming from a middle-class background would make her tastes less refined. I hope nothing happened to her. I was beginning to quite like her."
Smiling wider, there was obvious affection in Maura's voice when she spoke, "Oh, no, she's perfectly alright. I actually called to inform you that we are in a relationship. You'll be getting the engagement announcement, soon. As soon as we set a definite date, we'll be sending out wedding invitations. Right now, we just know it'll be mid-January. I don't know what you're travel plans are like for that time, but I hope you can make it."
Maura could hear the smile in her voice when Constance responded, "Oh, congratulation, darling. I knew there was more between you than simply friendship. One simply does not stand up for a friend the way she stood up for you. I'm glad she did, though. I just hadn't realized that you might want m to be a part of your life. Of course I'll be at the wedding. I'll have to see what I can cancel or reschedule, but I may be able to come sooner. Our last visit was too short, and I really should get to know Jane and the family you're marrying into. I assume you sent your father an announcement, as well."
Smile fading just a little, Maura's tone became more serious, "Yes, I sent his when I sent yours. I suspect he's already received it, by now. I'll send him an invitation, as well. Hopefully, he'll be able to make it."
Constance's tone was very forthright, when she responded, "If I speak to him before then, I will try to convince him to take at least a couple days to fly in, at least for the wedding. Surely, he can spare a couple days to attend his daughter's wedding."
Taking a deep breath, Maura closed her eyes and pushed her negative feelings to the background, recalling Jane's words from the night before. "Thank you, Mother, but I would love for Father to be there, of course, but I'll understand if he can't make it."
Constance sniffed dismissively, "Yes, of course. He's always busy with work. Oh, I can give you the name of a wonderful lawyer, if you haven't already found one to draw up your prenuptial agreement."
Maura's tone hardened, and she found herself wanting to glare at her phone, "Thank you, Mother, but that won't be necessary. Jane and I won't be having a prenup."
The indignation was clear in Contance's voice, "Is she refusing to sign one? You know, that is the first sign of trouble. What's to stop her from filing for divorce and demanding half of everything?"
Eyes tearing in anger and pain, Maura drew in a sharp breath before responding, "Jane and I are in love. She would never leave me, and has no interest in my money. In fact, she's never been comfortable with the amount of money I have. We will not be getting a divorce, and there is no need for a prenuptial agreement."
The reply was instant, and sharp, "Children learn from their parents. You only have to look at the state of her parents' marriage to see the lessons she's learned. Do you really want to risk everything on the chance that her LOVE will be enough?"
Maura's voice hardened, the words coming out sharp and angry, "Mother, you and Father haven't lived in the same house since I started college. Most of the time, you aren't even in the same country. You may not be divorced, but that is probably simply because the prenuptial agreement YOU signed will leave you with nothing, if you do so. You are married in name only, and even then just barely. You live separate lives, and see each other even less often than you speak. Don't you DARE imply that Jane doesn't love me enough for our marriage to last, or that she is only marrying me for my money. I don't want to hear you ever speaking ill of Angela, either. She is a wonderful, loving woman who accepted me into her family long before Jane and I were a couple. She considers me her daughter, every bit as much as Jane is, even though there are no blood or legal ties between us. You need to either alter your perception or watch your words carefully. If you can do neither, then I don't think I want you at our wedding."
Hanging up, she sat a moment before gathering her things and leaving her office. She sent Jane a quick text on the way to her car.
She sat on the coffee table in front of her. "Hey, you said you had some things to take care of. Why do you look upset? What happened? And why didn't call me if something was wrong?"
Maura sighed. "I did have some things to take care of, I just didn't mention that most of it was thinking. My phone call with my mother didn't go as well as I had hoped. In fact, I'm not sure if she'll be coming to the wedding."
Bolting upright, Jane started pacing. "What? She refused to come to her own daughter's wedding? I already told her I didn't want her hurting my best friend. hurting my fiancee, is even worse. God, if she wasn't your mother, I'd probably be on a plane right now so I could kick her ass."
When tapping her arm didn't get her attention, Maura grabbed Jane's hand and yanked until she was sitting beside her. "She didn't refuse. I told her not to come. That is, I told her not to come if she couldn't either change her opinion or keep it to herself."
Holding up a hand, she stopped Jane from interrupting. "Before you say anything, let me explain. She wanted me to make you sign a prenuptial agreement. When I explained that it wouldn't be necessary, she said some rather unpleasant things that I will NOT be repeating. I told her that I didn't think I wanted her at our wedding if she was going to speak ill of the people I care about. I hope she changes her mind, but I'd rather have her not be there, than to show up and make any part of our wedding unpleasant. I refuse to look back on that day and remember that my mother was disrespectful of my family."
Jane smiled, leaning in for a kiss. "Do you realize how much I love you, right now? You are a beautiful, amazing, strong woman, and I am proud to be able to call you mine. Just when I think I can't love you any more, you do something like this. I know how hard it must have been to do that, and how much it must hurt to think that your mother won't be there. If it'll help, I'll gladly sign a prenup. Those only matter if you get divorced, right? Since I never plan on letting you go, then it'll just be a piece of paper we can forget exists, as soon as we sign it."
Holding both of Jane's hands in hers, Maura leaned in to rest her forehead against Jane's, for a moment. "No, I don't WANT you to sign one. We won't be able to forget it exists. It'll always be there, between us. Even if we never need to see it again, we'll always know that a piece of paper exists that says my money is more important than our love, or that you are somehow less important in this relationship because you have less money. I refuse to have that between us. That's why I had other things to take care of today. I made appointments with my accountant and a lawyer."
Forehead furrowed in confusion, Jane waited a moment before asking, "Your accountant and a lawyer? If you don't want a prenup, then why do you need to talk to them?"
Smiling nervously, Maura looked down at their joined hands. "Well, that part I'm not sure you'll like. You see, I always planned to share everything with you once we were married, but I realized that I didn't want to wait. I just don't see how you could mean more to me than you do now. Being married is almost a formality. So, we'll be meeting with my accountant and a lawyer, next week, so I can have your name added to my accounts and properties. I want us to share everything. I never want you to think you're less than me in any way, just because I have more money. This way, everything I have will be yours, too."
Jane took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment, before leaning in to kiss her. "I won't tell you that you don't have to do that, because you already know that. I won't say that I can't believe you'd do that, because I can. I won't even tell you that you shouldn't do that, because I know that would just hurt your feelings. So, I'll just say thank you for loving me enough to trust me that much. I will never betray your love OR your trust."
Maura smiled, curling happily into Jane's side. "Thank you, Jane. I was afraid you'd be upset that I didn't talk to you about it first. I know how sensitive you are about financial matters, and I understand why. I just needed to do this, more for myself than for you. I know that my money doesn't matter to you, but it's part of me, and I want to share every part of myself with you, including the money. I want everything to be ours, not yours and mine."
Chuckling, Jane starting running a hand through Maura's hair. "Honestly, if you'd talked to me about it, first, I probably would've freaked out and been pissed. This way, is almost better. It's already done and decided, and all I really have to do is show up and sign some papers. I love you, and I won't to share every part of myself with you, too. I don't have any money, but you seem to be rather attached to my family. I hope it's a fair trade."
Turning her head, Maura kissed the spot right at the base of Jane's neck. "More than fair. I've always had money. It doesn't really mean anything to me. You gave me love, and that means so much more than money ever could. Even if it meant giving up everything I own, I would still choose you and your family. Things can always be replaced. I don't think I would survive loosing you, or your family."
Pulling her into her lap, Jane wrapped both arms around Maura, holding her close. "Never gonna happen, Babe. You're too precious to give up. And, they're your family now, too. They're OUR family, now. And, eventually, we'll have a family of our own."
Maura smiled happily into Jane's neck. "I know. Do you think you would mind adopting at least one child. I think I'd like to be pregnant, but I also want to be able to give a child love, when they maybe haven't had it before."
Thinking, Jane's hand moved to lay on Maura's stomach. "I would love to see you pregnant. Would you want to use a stranger, or someone in my family, as a donor? I wouldn't mind adopting one, either. Are you thinking about a baby, or an older kid? I've always thought I'd have kids, but I never thought about actually being pregnant."
Running a finger along Jane's collarbone, she thought about it for several moments. "You know, I'm not really sure. I don't think we need to decide right now, anyway. I think I want at least a little more time with just us, before we start thinking about having kids. Do you realize we've only been a couple for two months? I just want time to enjoy just being with you, without having to worry about pregnancy symptoms or taking care of a child."
Grabbing Maura's hand, she brought it up to place a kiss on the end of the finger that had been running along her skin. "I actually did realize that. And, I agree. I'll never get tired of making love to you, but I want the chance to live out at least a few more of my fantasies before we have to worry about potentially scarring any children. It's bad enough we have to worry about Ma walking in on us."
Chuckling, Maura placed a kiss in the center of her collarbone. "That only happened once, and I think she learned her lesson. I really don't think she expected to see as much as she did, or that we would be using toys. If you've noticed, she not only knocks before coming in the house, but she also yells to announce her presence."
Jane gently moved Maura off her lap, stood up, and walked off.
Staring after her for a moment, Maura stood up and moved to follow. "Where are you going?"
Jane's voice came from the bedroom at the same time her shirt flew out into the hallway. "Well, I seem to remember that it was my turn to use it on you."
Maura picked up Jane's shirt, closing the bedroom door behind her.
By the time it was time for lunch, she decided it was a lost cause. The meeting was in a couple hours, so she decided to just cut out early. She sent Maura a text letting her know she'd pick her up for the meeting. After driving for a bit, she ended up stopping at park and just sitting on a bench. Watching the people pass her an just breathing in the early fall air calmed most of her nerves. She left to pick up Maura with a smile and much more relaxed posture.
When Mr. Shannon, the accountant, started to talk about things that would probably take another accountant, or Maura, to understand, Jane idly opened the folder and started skimming through the papers in it.
Everyone turned to stare at her when she finally registered what she was reading, loudly. "Holy shit, Maura, you're loaded."
Smiling apologetically to the men across from them, Maura turned a slightly chastising gaze on Jane. "While I have never completely understood that phrase, I do know what it means. I never made any effort to hide the fact that I was independently wealthy. I don't see why that should come as any surprise to you, or require you to interrupt the meeting."
Smiling sheepishly, she lowered her voice, still awestruck. "Sorry. I knew you had money, but I didn't realize you were loaded. I guess I just figured you had enough to maybe retire early or live comfortably if you didn't work. Holy shit, Maura, I've only really looked at a couple pages, and I've already seen more zeros than my entire family will ever make in their collective lifetimes. If I'm reading this right, you have two trust funds that do nothing but collect interest. I can actually understand why you would need an accountant, now. Just, wow, you could buy an island and just lay on the beach and do nothing for the rest of your life."
At the look on Maura's face, she started looking through the folder, again. "You already own an island, don't you? Babe, if you own an island, we are so going there for our honeymoon."
Letting out a breath, Maura laughed lightly. "It's not an entire island, just part of a small island in the Mediterranean. I haven't been there in years, but I'm sure I can find pictures, if you'd like to see them, later. We can spend our honeymoon there, if you'd like. You're not upset I didn't tell you before this?"
Throwing an arm around her shoulder, Jane pulled her in to place a kiss on the side of her head. "No, I'm not upset. In shock, maybe, but not mad. I completely understand why your mother was worried, now. There really are a LOT of zeros, here. You are so lucky I'm not with you for your money. I don't think I will ever question the cost of anything you buy, ever again. Unless, maybe, you do decide to buy an entire island, someday. No wonder the chocolate with the gold flecks didn't impress you. Your baby spoons were probably solid gold."
Chuckling, she swatted Jane lightly on the arm. "I highly doubt that. Silver is a more practical metal for eating utensils. Are you over your shock, yet? Or will you need more time to process before we can continue?"
Grimacing, she turned to look at the men on the other side of the table. "Sorry, guys. I'm good. It was just a shock. I'll try to be quiet unless I have an actual question."
The rest of the meeting went relatively smoothly. By the time they got done signing papers, Jane was in complete shock. She handed her keys to Maura as they left the building, slumping silently into the passenger seat.
Maura had to call her name more than once before she responded. "Sorry. I'm not freaking out. Promise. Just processing. I worked it out, do you realize that my paycheck is smaller than what one of those trust funds makes more in interest in one day? It's just a lot to take in. I was thinking that you were maybe dipping into some savings account to pay for our wedding, but it's almost pocket change. I mean, just, wow. Babe, you really are loaded. I saw the information. That 'part of a small island in the Mediterranean' you own, is almost as big as Boston. You own enough land of a tropical island to almost drop the entire city of Boston there, and you call it 'part of a small island.' When you said that, I was thinking maybe a house on a few acres of land and a private beach. By the way, I don't really care what the pictures look like, we are SO going there for our honeymoon."
Placing a hand on her knee, Maura spoke gently. "Jane, you do realize that all those papers you just signed mean that you now essentially own half of everything, right? I don't own part of an island. WE own part of an island. Your name is now added to all my accounts, trust funds, and properties. You have full access to everything."
Taking a shaky breath, Jane rubbed her face with one hand, grabbing the hand on her knee with the other. "It's probably going to take awhile for that part to sink in. When it does, you might have to talk me out of buying something really stupid, just because I can. Look at what I ended up buying off the home shopping network while I was recovering. I think I understand why you have so many shoes. There's just no reason for you NOT to buy them. You should probably stop me from actually buying a thoroughbred and naming him Walter. Do you even REALIZE the amount of trust you just put in me?"
Head tilted to the side, Maura looked at her in confusion. "I trust you with my life and my heart, why wouldn't I trust you with my money? Money is only useful because it can buy things. I can replace things, or live without them. You saw how much of that money just sits there, making more money. I couldn't possibly ever spend it all. If I lost all of it tomorrow, I'd be ok. I don't think I would survive losing you. I trust you not to hurt me, so of course I trust you with my money. If you ever left me, it would break me. I don't think I would care, or even notice, if you took everything with you. Don't you understand? I don't need money, I NEED you."
Jane pulled her into a kiss, tears in her eyes. "I need you, too. More than I will ever be able to explain. I don't think you will ever understand how HONORED I am to have you in my life, or to have your love. I will NEVER willingly hurt you. I promise. Can we go home, now? I want to make love to you in OUR home."
Smiling, Maura gave her another quick kiss, before sitting back to start the car. "Yes, I think that is the perfect way to celebrate. If you really want a thoroughbred named Walter, you can buy one. It's your money, now, too. You should be able to buy something you want, that you've never been able to afford. I want you to feel like everything is yours, too. Making making a large purchase, just because you can. Like you said in the meeting, unless it's something as expensive as an island, the cost hardly matters. I doubt you would ever feel comfortable spending that much money at once, anyway. I doubt I would ever be comfortable buying an entire island. I inherited most of the land on the island as part of a trust fund that was set up by my maternal grandfather. I bought a few pieces over time to make it one large tract of land, instead of the several pieces I started with. Is there something you've always wanted to buy for yourself, or something you were saving toward?"
Chuckling lightly, Jane rested her head back against the seat. "I don't actually want a horse. What would I do with one? Tell you what, I'll think about it. If I come up with something I'll let you know, and you can help me find it. Hey, you don't have a private jet, do you?"
Maura glanced at her quickly, to see if she was serious, before answering. "No, it was never practical. I don't travel enough to make a private jet worth the expense. My father's company has a jet that is available to all the top executives and their families. If I ever really needed to, I could probably make use of it. I've just never seen the need to. It's cheaper and easier to simply buy a plane ticket with a commercial airline."
Jane nodded. "Ok, that makes sense. We're flying first class for our honeymoon. I've never been able to afford first class, the few times I've flown. I've always wondered if it really is as nice as they show on TV and movies."
Thinking for a moment, Maura responded, nodding. "Of course we'll fly first class. I don't believe I've ever not flown first class. While I'm not entirely sure how it compares to business class or coach, the seats are quite comfortable and the food is acceptable. If you'd like, we could even charter a plane. The flight is long enough that having a sleeping cabin might be more comfortable. It would also provide us with more privacy. Isn't there some sort of group or club associated with having sex in an airplane?"
Noticing they were almost home, Jane's grin turned almost feral. "Maura Isles, are you suggesting we charter a plane so we can join the Mile High Club?"
Pulling into the driveway, Maura turned off the car and got out before answering. "Yes, I believe that is exactly what I was suggesting."
Jane closed her eyes, groaning, at the words and flirtatious wink from Maura. Opening her eyes, she got out of the car, slamming the door, and ran up to the porch and through the door after her woman.
Angela and Maura spent hours one evening discussing the reception menu. Angela wanted to cook all the food herself, but Maura insisted on hiring a caterer. After pointing out that Angela would be too busy cooking and looking after the food to really enjoy the wedding, Angela finally agreed.
They spent another hour of Maura refusing to have any dishes with tomato sauce, and Angela insisting that an Italian wedding had to have at least one tomato-based dish. At the mention of the dry cleaning bills that would result from food drips, Angela acceded that there were plenty of Italian dishes that did not include tomato sauce.
Maura wanted to include some of her favorite French dishes, while Angela had a very Italian menu planned. They finally agreed that they would try out the various dishes at home, first, and decide which ones to use. Angela was eager for the chance to share some of her recipes, and learn some French dishes from Maura. Jane was just glad they were done arguing, and looked forward to the next month of taste testing.
When talk turned to what kind of cake they should have, Maura had to laugh at Jane's sudden interest. Maura immediately ruled out any sort of berry-related filling or flavors, to avoid triggering possible allergies. Jane just nodded, stopping Angela when she started listing all the family members she knew who had allergies.
Jane happily agreed to go to several bakeries for cake tastings. None of them really had any idea what kind of cake they wanted, and he prospect of getting the chance to sample dozens of different flavors was appealing. Even when Maura insisted on an extra run after each tasting, Jane lost none of her excitement.
Maura didn't have many friends or family to invite. She'd send invitations to both her parents, of course, but that was extent of her family. She didn't have any cousins, her grandparents had died either before she was born or while she was young, and she hadn't seen or talked to her only uncle since before she started boarding school. There were a few friends from medical school she wanted to invite, but most of her close friends were also on Jane's list.
Jane was set on a small wedding. She wanted to invite just immediate family and close friends, and leave it at that.
Angela, on the other hand, produced several pages filled with names and contact information.
Jane took one look at the papers, and got up to get a beer for her and glass of wine for Maura.
Sitting back down, she started to scan the list, stopping after the first page. "Ma, I don't even know half the people on here. I'm not inviting strangers to my wedding, I don't care if we do share blood."
Taking the list back, she started to point out names. "Great Aunt Beatrice was at your christening. Hector is your second cousin, and you guys use to play together as toddlers. You were the flower girl at Mabel's wedding. She has a granddaughter that can be your flower girl, it's only fair to return the favor, after all. I'm not actually sure if you've ever met Uncle Victor…"
Jane took the paper out of her hand, turning it over on the table and holding it down. "No, Ma. I don't know these people. I don't care who was at my christening, and I don't remember being the flower girl in anyone's wedding. I certainly don't remember playing with some cousin I've never heard of, when we were toddlers. If I don't remember meeting them, I am NOT inviting them to my wedding."
Turning the paper back over, she grabbed the pen from in front of Maura and started crossing names off the list. When she was done, she handed the list back to Angela. "There, I actually know those people."
Looking down, Angela stared at all the names crossed out. "Jane, you crossed out most of names on this list. And I KNOW you know Uncle Markus. We was at your high school graduation."
Jane looked at her like she'd lost her mind. "Ma, Uncle Markus gets drunk at every family gathering and takes off his pants. I am NOT having him at my wedding. He was arrested for indecent exposure at my graduation party because he forgot to put his pants on before deciding to walk home. No, he's not invited."
Maura looked at her with something akin to shock, before shaking her head lightly and turning to Angela. "I must agree. Any family members that have a problem remaining dressed should not be invited. I would prefer that none of our guests end up arresting any of the other guests. After all, there will be several officers and detectives there."
Nodding, Angela placed another line through his name. "I agree. I forgot he did that. I assume that means you aren't inviting Great Aunt Greta, either."
At Jane's head shake, Maura had to ask, "Why aren't you inviting her? Does she undress when inebriated, as well?"
Jane chuckled, "No, Great Aunt Greta is a little senile. The last family reunion I went to, She took her bra off and tried to wash it in the punch bowl, then put it back on over her dress. She was taking her slip off, when Aunt Helen stopped her."
Maura nodded, very matter-of-fact. "I can see why you don't want to invite her. I hope she has supervision at home."
Still chuckling, Jane nodded. "Yeah, she lives with Aunt Helen, her daughter. Apparently, she insists on doing all the ironing nude, in the living room, while she watches tv. She says she doesn't want to wrinkle the clothes by wearing them. Their neighbors called the police a couple years ago because she'd taken a bar of soap and walked into their back yard to take a bath in their swimming pool."
Angela added, "The last time I spoke to Helen, she mentioned that she was thinking about hiring a home nurse to help look after her. She's usually fine, as long as she takes her meds. When she forgets, or is in a strange place, is when she gets confused. I'll explain to Helen. I'm sure she'll understand. Aunt Greta gets so embarrassed when she realizes she's had another episode."
Nodding, Maura turned their attention back to the guest list. Eventually, after several hours of arguing back and forth, they were able to settle on a rough list. It was longer than Jane and Maura had expected, but a lot shorter than they'd feared. Pulling out the information she had on the venues, Maura confirmed that all three were large enough for the about one hundred people they would be inviting.
The first location was eliminated when they realized that with the trees bare you could see the smokestacks of a factory a couple miles away. It ruined the iew, making it more depressing than picturesque.
They all loved the second location. The event hall they would be using was faced on one side by bay windows and glass doors that opened out onto a garden. A cobblestone path wove between small topiaries, with the occasional bench dotting the way. Several small trees, now almost devoid of leaves, we scattered between the flower beds, usually with a bench underneath to enjoy the shade. The garden backed onto several acres of wooded land.
Jane fell in love with the third location as soon as they saw it. Like the second one, it opened out onto a garden with a winding path. Several benches were placed along the path and under shade trees. What drew Jane's eye, though, was the large oak tree off to the side with the rope swing hanging from it. When she saw the fountain in the center of the garden with the graceful Venus sculpture in it, she turned to meet Maura's eyes.
They both smiled, Jane's full of hope, and Maura nodded. Holding back a squeal, she pulled Maura into her arms, picking her up to kiss her soundly.
From the side, Mark chuckled. "So, I guess this is it?"
Jane put Maura down, but still held her in her arms, and nodded. "This is it. It's perfect."
Maura just smiled, relaxing in Jane's arms.
He smiled, enjoying the obvious love between them. "Do you mind if I ask, why?"
Maura looked up, nodding to tell Jane to answer first. Kissing her forehead, first, she did. "For me, it's mostly the swing. I don't really know why, it just makes it seem more romantic, somehow."
Looking back out at the garden, Maura took a moment before answering. "I think it's the fountain that decided, for me. I noticed it the last time we were here, but now that most of the flowers and leaves are gone, it draws the eye more strongly. It's a beautiful fountain, and the stone will stand out against the snow."
Nodding, Mark smiled at them. "When I remembered the fountain, I thought it might help you decide, one way or the other. I hadn't even noticed the swing, before. Well, let's go take care of the paperwork to reserve the hall. You want the smaller room down the hall, for the ceremony, right?"
They went off the take care of all the details to reserve the space. Now that they had a location, and definite date, Mark mentioned a couple companies that did invitations, and offered to bring examples to their next meeting.
When he left, he saw Maura laughing as Jane pushed her on the rope swing.
Maura finally agreed to the chocolate layer after Jane spent an entire weekend 'convincing' her, even though she was ready to agree after only a few hours. Angela decided to stay in the guesthouse after hearing the first round of screaming.
Angela joined them on Saturday, insisting on cooking dinner and helping pass out candy. Jane bought several pounds of candy, even though Maura insisted there just weren't that many children in the neighborhood. They were both more than a little upset when the doorbell only rang a few times, proving Maura's point. Instead, Jane did her best to work her way through the huge bowl of candy while they watched more movies on Sunday, despite Maura's protests.
Maura started decorating the house early, wanting everything to be perfect. She spent hours talking to Angela about recipes and family traditions. Jane just left them to it, knowing it was important to both of them.
Midmorning on Monday, she answered her phone, just to hear Constance Isles on the other end.
"Detective Rizzoli. Jane. I know you probably didn't expect to hear from me, but I wanted to talk to you about my daughter."
Jane pulled the phone away to look at it, like it could verify who was was calling, then singled to the guys that she was going out. "Mrs. Isles. I'm not really sure what good talking to me will do. I don't know everything you said to Maura, but you upset her. All she told me was you wanted her to have me sign a prenup, and that you were disrespectful of her family. Maura also told me she told you not to come to the wedding unless you could change your opinions. I doubt you have any idea how much saying that hurt her, or how much whatever you said must have hurt her for her to even think about telling you not to be there. I told you when we met that I don't like seeing my best friend hurt. That goes doubly so for my fiancee. Now, I will listen to whatever you have to say, but only because Maura cares about you. If you called to try to convince me to sign a prenup or leave your daughter, you can just hang up right now."
Constance sighed, taking a moment to answer. "I apologize for what I said to Maura. I was caught by surprise and reacted badly. After she berated me and hung up, I took the time to think. Maura was right. I'm not in any place to give her relationship advice. Her father and I have what is, essentially, a business agreement. We married, not out of love, but because it was good for our families. We stayed together while Maura was a child, then went our separate ways to live our separate lives. We may still be married, but we are not a couple. I was hoping you could talk to Maura, for me, and convince her to give me a chance to apologize."
By this time, Jane had made it to her car and was sitting behind the wheel. She debated going somewhere, but decided she'd rather have all her attention on the conversation. Running a hand through her hair, she sighed. "Look, you obviously don't know your daughter very well. You didn't have to call me to be the go between. Maura has the biggest heart of anyone I know. If you call her to apologize, then she'll accept it. Like I said, I don't know what you said, and I don't need to, but Maura will forgive you as long as you're sincere. All you have to do is show her that you mean it, and do your best not to hurt her, again. All she wants is for you to show her that you love her, and be a part of her life."
The voice on the other end was hesitant and unsure, when she answered. "Are you sure she still wants me in her life? I said some rather unpleasant things, and she was very angry when she told me not to come to your wedding. I don't think I've ever heard Maura that upset, before."
Jane's voice softened, recognizing the some tone Maura used when she was afraid to hear an answer. "When she told me about your conversation, she never ONCE even implied she didn't want you in her life. All she said is that she didn't want to look back on our wedding day and remember you being disrespectful of her family. My family is every bit as much hers, as it is mine. And every bit as much as you are her family. As long as you want to be in her life, she'll have room for you. Just make an effort to be there for her."
There was a delicate sniff and sigh, from Constance. "Thank you, Jane. I was afraid I'd hurt her too badly for her to be able to forgive me. She is very lucky to have you. I knew you loved her when you confronted me. Even as a child, she was always so independent. I don't think she's ever let anyone stand up for her, before, and I'm not sure she's ever had anyone in her her life who was willing to do so. I only ever wanted her to be happy and find love, and you've given her that. I know you probably don't like me very much, but I started to quite like you, on my last visit."
Smiling, Jane chuckled quietly. "I don't know you very well. Just knowing you love Maura and are willing to try to be a part of her life, makes a difference. I won't say I'm your biggest fan, but I am willing to give you a chance. Maura wants you around, which means I want you around, for her. Look, I don't know what your schedule is like, and it's short notice to be flying, but we're having a family dinner on Thanksgiving. I won't tell Maura I invited you, but I know she'd love for you to be there. If you do come, then you can either stay in the guestroom, or Ma can stay in the guestroom and you can use the guesthouse. Even if it's just for a night, I know Maura would be happy to have the chance to spend time with you."
Jane could hear the smile in Constance's voice, when she answered. "I'll see what I can do. Thank you for inviting me. As long as I can get a plane, I'll be there. The guestroom will be fine. I know the guesthouse is your mother's home, and I don't think it would help matters if I were to kick her out of her home, even for a night."
Smiling wider, Jane nodded in silent approval. "Well, then I hope we see you on Thanksgiving, Mrs. Isles. I really have to get back to work, though, and I'm sure you have plans to work out."
They exchanged goodbyes and Jane hung up with a silently bemused shake of her head. She made her way back up to the squad room, waving off the guys' questions. Until Constance Isles showed up at their door, Jane didn't want any chance that Maura could be disappointed. She still wasn't completely sure what to think of the call, herself.
Everyone started showing up by mid-afternoon. Jane already had the TV on for the pregame, and was sitting with a beer. When Frankie showed up, having landed a half-shift for the day, Angela and Maura recruited Jane to help get the food set out.
When Angela pulled the last of the rolls from the oven, and yelled for everyone to go sit at the table, Jane looked at the clock and sighed.
Dinner was loud, as expected. Conversation was randomly punctuated by exclamations over particularly good or bad plays made in the game on in the background. Maura didn't stop smiling the entire time, enjoying all the love and laughter she found herself in the middle of. Jane watched Maura as often as she watched the game, loving the happiness she saw on her face.
Jane and most of the guys had migrated to the living room, taking their plates with them, to focus on the game, when the doorbell rang. Jane was yelling at the TV, and barely registered the new noise. She did notice when Maura answered the door, shocked to see her mother on the other side.
Turning to see the doorway better, Jane watched Maura's reaction, hoping for the best. When Maura leaned in to kiss Constance's cheek, she smiled at her over Maura's shoulder.
Finally, Maura seemed to come out of her shock enough to speak. "Mother, this is a surprise. I didn't know you were coming. Come in. There's still plenty of food, if you're hungry."
Constance smiled, nodding to Jane as she entered. "Well, the decision to visit was rather last minute. I talked to Jane last week, and she invited me. She wanted my arrival to be a surprise, in case I was unable to find a flight. I would've been here sooner, but there was a delay in Paris. I'm afraid I can't stay long, only a couple days, but I wanted to congratulate you and Jane in person. I also owe you an apology."
Maura turned to Jane, when she heard she'd invited Constance, giving her a small smile filled with love. "I'm happy you're here, Mother. There's no need to apologize, to me. Since you've already talked to Jane, I assume that means she holds no hard feelings, and that you've modified your opinion. If that is, in fact, the case, then I see no need for an apology."
Jane and Constance shared a look, Jane's slightly smug and knowing. "Yes, Jane and I came to an understanding. I already apologized to her, and I really do want to apologize to you for the things I said. I reacted poorly, and you gave me a lot to think about. Now, I believe you mentioned food. Maybe one of these nice young men would be willing to explain this game to me afterward. I never did quite understand it."
Maura got her a plate, surprised when Constance turned her chair to better watch the game while she ate. She would occasionally ask a question, which someone would try to answer.
Angela and Maura retreated to the kitchen, cleaning up the empty dishes and portioning out the leftovers that would be sent home with each person. They talked, laughing when they living room would suddenly erupt in noise. When Jane looked over the back of the couch, Maura smiled and bought her a beer and a kiss. When Frankie complained that no one brought him a beer, Maura turned around to find Angela behind her holding several more. They handed out the fresh beers, taking the empty bottles to be rinsed and recycled.
When Jane motioned Maura over, pulling her down to sit in her lap, Angela turned to find Constance watching her. She took her glass over to sit next to the other woman, letting her start the conversation.
After a couple minutes of watching Maura talking and laughing, still sitting on Jane's lap, Constance turned back to Angela. "I've never seen her this happy. She was always a quiet, shy child. When she was ten, she requested to be sent to boarding school in France. Even as a teenager and young adult, she was always reserved, and never interacted well with other people. I've never seen her laugh so openly, or seem so comfortable around other people."
Angela kept watching her family as they watched the game, smiling at the sight. "When I first met Maura, she was very formal. It took me forever to get her to stop calling me Mrs. Rizzoli. She didn't start calling me Angela, all the time, until after Janie was in the hospital. I think falling in love just made her more comfortable and confident. Maura is a wonderful person, and I can't tell you how glad I am that they're together. She makes my Janie happier than I've ever seen her, and I think Jane does the same for her. They're good for each other. Maura's good for all of us."
The next words were a bit of a shock, and got Angela's full attention. "I'm envious of you. You have an ease that I've never shared with my daughter. You've only known her for a few years, but I think you know her better than I do. I was just never quite sure how to be a mother, and Maura was always such a self sufficient child, I guess I just never felt like she needed me."
Pointing at Maura and Jane, Angela stared at Constance. "Those are my daughters. I love Maura every bit as much as I love my Janie. It doesn't matter that she's not my child, or that I've only known her for a few years. She's still my daughter. The first time I told her that, she cried. She cried because she couldn't believe that I could possibly love her that much. It doesn't matter how old they get, or how independent they are, a child ALWAYS needs their mother.
"God knows, my Janie is stubborn as they come. She never wanted help when she was little, and she still doesn't. She had to do everything herself. Scraped knees and broken hearts were dealt with by herself. She never asked for help, but I always made sure she had bandaids and ice cream when she needed them. It didn't matter that she didn't ask. What mattered was that she was my child and I loved her. She'll never admit it, but she still needs me. It doesn't happen very often, but when she needs to talk, she just shows up with ice cream and we sit eat it from the carton until she's ready to talk.
"Maura doesn't know that she can ask for help. I don't know much about you, or Maura's childhood. I do know that Maura is such an honest person that she takes everything at face value. She assumes people mean what they say, and if they haven't said something, then it's not there. You have to tell that girl you love her for her to understand and believe it. You have to tell her that you want to be in her life. If you don't, she just doesn't think that you do. You have the most open-hearted people I've ever met, for a daughter. She loves unconditionally, and she will do everything she can to make sure the people she loves are happy, even if it means she suffers. She loves you, and she came to me in a panic when you were showing up a day early, because she was worried things wouldn't be perfect for you. Don't you dare take that girl for granted. It doesn't matter if you don't think you know how to be a mother, or feel that she needs you. She will always need her mother. All you have to do is tell her that you want to be part of her life, then make an effort to be there when she needs you."
Constance nodded, discretely wiping her eyes and waving a hand when she saw Jane watching her. "I will try. I'll be here for a couple days, and I want to spend that time getting to know my daughter and her new family better. I do love her, I've just never been very good at showing it. I'd like to fix that. Maura really is very lucky to have all of you. Thank you for being in her life. I told Jane, when I talked to her last week, that I didn't think Maura had ever had someone stand up for her before. Now, I know, she has several people willing to stand up for her. Thank you."
Angela went to hug Constance, thought better of it, and patted her hand instead. "There's no need to thank me. I love Maura. She's family. Everyone here considers her family, and we take care of our family. Even if she and Janie weren't together, she'd still be family. We're there for each other because we love each other and want to be, not because we feel like we have to be. If you'd let yourself, I'm sure you could become family, too. There's always room for a family to grow."
Smiling, Constance noticed Maura and Jane walking over and nodded in their direction.
Jane looked back and forth, getting a nod from each letting her know everything was ok. "Ma, do you need help getting dessert out? I know you and Maura baked like a dozen pies."
Starting slightly, Angela looked at the TV. "Oh, it's half time, already? You get out plates and forks, and I'll get the pies set out. Maura, can you get the whipped cream out? I have most of the pies in the oven to keep warm. I'll start getting them out while you guys get everything set."
After everything was set out, Jane looked at the table, shaking her head. "I think you went a bit overboard, Babe. Do we really need four pumpkin pies? You didn't think the apple, sweet potato, peach, and blueberry pies, and cheesecake would be enough? You guys made at least two of everything. How much do you expect everyone to eat?"
Maura leaned into her side, wrapping an arm around her waist. "Well, I wanted to make sure everyone got a piece of their favorite pie, so we made two of each. As for the pumpkin pie, Angela and I couldn't decide on a recipe, so we decided to make two different kinds."
Chuckling, Jane kissed her head. "You do realize we're going to be eating pie for the next week, right? Man, that means extra running and yoga, doesn't it? Hasn't anyone ever told you that holiday calories don't count?"
When Maura started to argue, Jane put a fork full of pumpkin pie in her mouth, then darted off laughing. Constance and Angela watched as Maura took off after her, chasing her around kitchen counter and finally knocking her onto the couch, and Frankie, as they both laughed. He made sure Maura was out of the way, then pushed a still laughing Jane onto the floor. When she got up to go after him, Angela decided to intervene.
Hiding a smile, she yelled, "Janie, you know better than to rough house inside. Leave your brother alone before you break something."
Still pinning Frankie down, she turned to her. "Ma, really? This is my house. You always said, 'may house, my rules.' Well, this is my house, so it's my rules. My rules say Frankie knocked me on the floor, so he has to pay."
When Jane turned her attention back to Frankie, Angela shot a look at Maura, who smiled at her and nodded, then put a serious look at her face. "Jane, are you forgetting this is my house, too? I would appreciate it if you didn't break any of our furniture. Could you please let Frankie up so he can get dessert? The more pie he eats, the less we have leftover, and the less extra running and yoga you have to do."
Jane got up, almost yanking Frankie upright and pushing him toward the table. "You heard the lady. Go eat pie. In fact, eat two. I don't want to be doing extra yoga for the next week."
Turning, she pointed at Maura, stalking toward her. "As for you, no fair ganging up on me with my mother. You're marrying me, you're supposed to be on my side. I think I need to teach you a lesson."
Everyone laughed as Jane managed to catch Maura, pinning her to the couch and tickling her until she was laughing and shrieking.
She watched, curious, as she sat with Jane and Angela talking about some of the wedding plans they'd already made. Finally, she decided to just ask, "Mother, what hotel are you staying at? I can give you a ride, if you don't have a rental car."
She turned, smiling. "Oh, no, darling, Jane insisted I stay here, if I was able to come. I have my bags in the rental, and I'll be staying in the guestroom, as long as that's ok with you."
Looking at Jane, pleasantly surprised, Maura smiled. "Of course, it's ok. You're always welcome in our home, Mother. How long are you here, for? I know you said a couple days, but I'm unsure if that means you're leaving tomorrow."
Constance looked at Jane, getting a nod in confirmation. "I would be happy to stay here when I visit, as long as I'm not intruding. My flight leaves Saturday afternoon. I thought we could spend tomorrow talking more about your wedding. I'd love to know what you have planned, so far."
They talked for awhile more, until Maura started trying to hide her yawning against Jane's shoulder. Jane helped Constance get her bags and get settled in the guestroom, while Angela helped clean up the few dishes left. When Jane finished locking up after Angela left, she found Maura in the center of their bed, asleep.
They talked and laughed and shared stories, heating up leftovers when they were hungry. Angela and Constance ended up getting along better than anyone expected. Jane was a little worried, but decided it didn't matter when she saw how happy it made Maura.
When it was time for Constance to leave for her flight, they were all sad to see her go. Maura wanted to drive her to the airport, but she insisted it was ok, and that she had to return the rental car, anyway. Jane loaded her bags in the car, giving her a chance to say her goodbyes to Maura in private.
Maura was surprised when, instead of kissing her cheek, Constance pulled her into a hug. She recovered quickly, hugging her back. Jane was completely shocked when she received the same treatment.
They stood on the porch, after she left, when Jane realized something. "Oh, God, our mothers traded phone numbers. That means they plan on talking to each other. That cannot be good. Ma doesn't have a filter. She just tells people things. God, what if she tells her about walking in on us? I think I need to go hide under the bed."
Closing the door behind her, Maura followed Jane into the living room. "I think it's nice that our mothers get along. Would you prefer that they hated each other?"
Pulling Maura into her lap, she kissed her. "No, you're right. It's good that they get along. Maybe Ma can help your mother be more involved in your life. I won't even think about hoping that Ma will learn to be less nosy. There's a better chance that you'll start calling every reddish brown stain you see blood."
Maura swatted her arm, and Jane laughed, pulling her closer. They sat, just enjoying cuddling together.
The first real words out of his mouth, were, "So, ladies, have you gone dress shopping yet?"
Jane groaned, slipping down in her chair, and seriously considering crawling under the table and making a run for the door. Maura casually reached over, grabbing her hand and lacing their fingers together on top of the table, not once even looking her way.
Angela left the snack tray she was fixing, on the kitchen counter, and hurried over to the table. "Oh, Janie won't need to go dress shopping. She can wear my wedding dress. I took it out of storage as soon as I knew they were engaged. Maura, I forgot to ask your mother if she had her dress for you to wear. I'll call her tonight. Do you think she could have it shipped here?"
Groaning, Jane tried to bury her face in her hands, glaring at Maura when she refused to let go, and finally just banging her forehead against the table. "Ma, I've seen your wedding pictures, remember? I'm NOT wearing that dress. Besides, there's no way it'll fit me."
She just waved off the protests. "We can have it taken in. I'm sure the tailor Maura uses can do it. She did wonders on your suits, and without you ever even going in for a fitting. Imagine what she could do if you were actually there."
Jane banged her head against the table until Maura put her hand in the way. "Ma, she can take it in as much as she wants. That's not going to make it longer. It'll come to like my knees."
After several minutes of arguing back and forth, Maura finally decided to help. "Angela, if Jane tries on the dress, and it does end up being too short, then she can look for something else to wear. I'm sure she'd welcome the help, since I won't be able to be there. Won't you, Jane?"
Jane shot her a small glare, but nodded when Maura elbowed her. "Yes, Ma. If your dress won't fit me, then you can come shopping with me. After all, Maura will be busy doing her own dress shopping."
Angela was walking around her, tugging and pulling, trying to find a way to make the dress longer. Suddenly she seemed to have an idea, and scurried off into her bedroom. She came back with a layer veil, trimmed in more fake pearls, and proceeded to put it on Jane.
Jane groaned, trying to escape, but her legs got tangled in the skirt and she was forced to stay there. "Ma, the veil is not going to hide the fact that you can see my shins. Can you PLEASE just admit this isn't going to work? You know I got my height from Pop's side of the family."
Angela sighed, finally admitting defeat. "Fine, you can go take it off. I just wanted you to be able to wear my dress. We're going dress shopping soon, though. I'm not letting you put this off. Do you think Maura would want to wear the dress?"
Poking her head around the doorframe, Jane stared at her in disbelief. "Have you EVER seen Maura in anything even REMOTELY like this dress? No, let her pick out her own dress."
Angela waved for her to go finish changing. "Fine, you're right. Maura has wonderful taste, and will find the perfect dress for her. We can go dress shopping this weekend. I will NOT accept no as an answer. It's your wedding, don't you want to look nice?"
Frankie started to fidget almost immediately, eyeing the exit. "Tell me, again, why I have to be here?"
Jane grabbed his arm with an evil grin. "Because, little brother, you are my best man. It's your job to do this like this. Besides, if I have to suffer through dress shopping with Ma, then I'm making you suffer with me. Do me a favor, help convince her not to try to make me wear anything that looks even remotely like her wedding dress. Better, yet, help me convince her that I don't have to wear a dress, at all."
He turned to look at her. "She made you try on the dress, didn't she? Ok, you've suffered enough. I'll see what I can do, but you know how Ma gets. You might have bribe her with grandkids, or something."
She grimaced, watching Angela talk to a saleswoman near a rack of particularly puffy dresses. "I tell you what, you manage to convince Ma to let me wear a tux, and I'll get Maura to let you name our first child."
Seeing where Jane was looking, Frankie gave her a shove. "It's a deal. No one should have to wear one of those dresses. You better go talk to her before it's too late. I'll try to think of something."
Five hours, and three dress shops, later, Jane was ready to shoot someone. She had tried on more dresses than she could count, most of them ones that Angela picked out. When the saleswoman brought in yet another white dress with puffy sleeves, she picked up the skirt of the dress she was still wearing and stormed out of the dressing room.
She stopped to face Angela, fuming. "Look, Ma, not more picking out dresses for me. I don't even want to wear a dress, but I refuse to wear something that makes me look like an overstuffed doll. If I have to wear a dress, then I'm not wearing white, and I'm not wearing something that has more fabric than my entire wardrobe."
Angela stared at her in shock. "Of course you're wearing a white dress. It's your wedding, you have to wear white. What will people think, if you don't? You don't want them thinking you're some sort of hussy, do you?"
Jane gaped. "Ma, I seriously doubt anyone there thinks I am still a virgin. You KNOW I'm not a virgin. You WALKED IN on us. I'm not wearing white. I don't care what anyone thinks. If I have to wear a dress, then I refuse to wear white."
They stared at each other for several moments, until Jane stormed off back to the dressing room. Several minutes later, there was a tentative knock on the door. Jane yanked it open, to find a nervous saleswoman holding a tux on a hanger.
She held it out, waiting for Jane to take it. "Your brother said you might want to try this on. He also asked if the buttons could be replaced with a different color, and to tell you that he's talking to your mother."
Jane took the hanger, smiling when she saw what Frankie had picked out. Once the saleswoman ran off, she hurried to change.
When she walked out, Angela was glaring at Frankie. When she saw Jane, she gasped and had to wipe away tears. Frankie smiled and gave her a thumbs up.
Jane turned to face the mirror, jaw dropping. Angela came up beside her, watching her in the mirror. "It's perfect, Janie. I'm sorry. It's your wedding, and you deserve to have what you want. I just always pictured you in a beautiful white dress walking down the aisle. But you look beautiful. Maura will love it."
Jane went back to change, before paying and discussing the alterations she wanted done. As they left, Jane sent Maura a text to let her know they were done, if she wanted to meet them for dinner.
Frost and the saleswoman were waiting to see the latest dress. They both looked her over, having her turn, before shaking their heads.
She went back to the dressing room to try on the dress she'd been saving for last. As soon as she saw it, she loved it. A small, irrational, part of her was almost afraid to try it on, in case it didn't look the way she thought it would. Pushing the feeling aside, she put it on and left the dressing room, avoiding her reflection.
She stopped facing Frost and the saleswoman, watching their reactions. When Frost nodded, smiling, she finally turned to see her reflection. When she saw herself, she nodded through her tears, taking the tissue Frost handed her to wipe her eyes.
Turning to the saleswoman, she smiled. "I'll take it."
Frost tapped her hand to get her attention. "I think it needs just a little something extra, to make it perfect. They do accents here, right?"
Both women listened, smiles growing larger, as he explained what he had in mind.
Frankie grinned at Frost, unable to resist. "So, you went dress shopping with Maura? Find one for yourself?"
Frost just smiled back. "I wouldn't be so quick to judge. Angela showed me the Halloween pictures from when you were little. You were very pretty."
Jane snorted her water, choking as she tried to laugh. "Come on, Frankie. You looked very pretty in my dress. It was your idea, after all."
Blushing, he glared at them all, pointing. "Never. Speaking. Of. This. Again. Got it? Never. Jane, don't forget I have just as many stories about you. Frost, don't make me even say it."
Laughing, they both backed off.
Maura asked Frost if he had any holiday plans, and they all forgot about dresses for the rest of the meal.
Angela went on for almost ten minutes about a set of ceramic mixing bowls Jane was pretty sure she just wanted for herself. Frost suggested perfume. Frankie laughed and said he hadn't even figured out what to get her, yet. Tommy pointed out that he'd only known her for a few months, and they hadn't really spent much time together. Korsak refused to answer, reminding her that he'd been divorced twice and probably wasn't the best person to ask.
Jane had desperately tried to remember if Maura had ever mentioned wanting to get anything. The problem was, if Maura wanted something, she just went out to get it. So, she had to come up with something Maura would love, but didn't know existed.
Thinking back to try to remember if she'd seen anything recently that Maura might like, she had a thought, then immediately discounted it. A couple moments later, she realized she actually COULD afford it, snorted, and barely keeping from head slapping herself. She got up, waving to the guys.
Frost called after her, "Hey, Rizzoli, what was that about? Did you forget the dry cleaning, or something?"
She debated giving him the finger, but was in too good a mood. "No, Maura has the cleaning delivered. I just realized I'm an idiot, and have some shopping to do. I'll be back in like an hour."
Remembering a conversation they'd had more than a year ago, she chuckled and started making phone calls. An hour later, she was online, a mischievous smirk on her face.
By Christmas Eve, they had all the decorations up. Jane insisted on sitting in front of the fireplace in a nest of pillows and blankets, with only the fire and the tree for light, and listening to quiet Christmas music. At first, Maura tried to convince her it would be more comfortable in their bed, but Jane won as soon as she had all the lights turned off and Maura saw the scene it created.
They cuddled under the blankets, talking softly every now and then. They talked about past Christmases, favorite gifts, favorite memories and what it was like for Jane to fight her brothers on who got to open their gifts first.
Jane smiled happily at the ceiling, running her hand up and down Maura's back as she lay on her chest. "Do you realize that in a few years, we'll probably be spending this time wrapping presents and setting them out under the tree? We'll have letters to Santa, wrapping paper and toys everywhere, and excited squealing that wakes us up way too early. I'll be up late putting together bicycles. You'll be helping make cookies for Santa. There won't be any time to just cuddle in front of the fire on Christmas Eve."
Resting her head on her hands, Maura studied Jane's face. "You know, we can wait as long as you want, before we have kids. We can have a couple years for just us."
Still smiling, Jane ran one hand hand through Maura's hair. "I know. I love spending time with you, like this. But I'll love having kids with you, too. All the chaos and excitement and joy that I remember surrounding Christmas when I was little, with kids of our own. I look forward to it. Right now, is for us. We'll both know when we're ready for kids. When that time comes, I don't think I'll miss this. Instead of cuddling in front of the fire, we'll be watching our kids sleep, and opening presents."
Maura reached up to kiss her, humming happily. "I think you're right. And I want that. I want our kids of have the kind of Christmas I never had, and I know you'll be able to create it. For now, though, I think it's time we go to bed. It's late, and Angela's coming early so we can finish preparing dinner."
They cleared away the pillows and blankets in silence, put out the fire, and went to bed. The lights from the tree lit the room, and presents underneath.
They sat down to eat early, talking and laughing and sharing Christmas stories. Frost got up to call his mother, who hadn't been able to get enough time off to make flying over the holidays practical, and they all yelled Merry Christmas as he was hanging up.
After they were done eating, Maura nodded to Jane and they got up, heading toward the door. Korsak noticed, checked his watch, and started to follow them.
Tommy watched them, confused. "Hey, Sis, where are you guys going? You guys planning on going caroling, or something?"
Nodding to Maura, Jane signaled for her to answer. "No, caroling would be rather unpleasant, since singing is not something I do even remotely well. I volunteer at a homeless shelter, every Christmas. Usually I just help serve the food, but this year Korsak agreed to dress up as Santa and pass out the presents. You're all welcome to come with us. They could always use more help during the holidays."
Exchanging looks, the rest of them got up to get their coats. Angela quickly put the food away, and joined them.
At the shelter, they helped serve the food and do clean up. Once everyone had eaten, Korsak came out in his Santa suit. The rest of them helped get the children settled down, and lined up by age, starting with the youngest. 'Santa' made sure each child got a warm coat, hat, gloves, and a toy. Once all the children got their turn, they made sure all the adults had a warm coat and got to pick from the other donated items. Frost was surprised when one woman clutched his hand with tears in her eyes when he handed her a toiletry kit.
They were all quiet when they got back to the house. By silent agreement, they sat around talking, instead of opening gifts right away.
It was a couple hours later, that Frankie moved to the tree and started passing out gifts. Tommy just shrugged when everyone laughed at his gift of dog walking services for Korsak. Frankie tried no to blush when he got the red version of the action figure he and Frost had fought over, from Frost. Angela didn't even pretend to look surprised when she got ceramic mixing bowls from Jane. Tommy and Maura set up a weekly chess date, when he opened the new chess board from her. Jane glared, and Maura blushed, when Maura unwrapped a whip from Korsak, then Jane blushed when she had to explain the meaning of the term 'whipped.' Jane gave Angela a confused look when she got the first three seasons of L Word from her, and Angela explained that she thought they could watch it together.
Maura nudged Jane when she realized everyone was watching them expectantly. Jane stared at them, finally giving in and asking. "What? Why are you staring at us?"
Angela looked pointedly at the still wrapped gift next to Jane. "Aren't you guys going to open your gifts from each other? Or are they not appropriate to be opened in public? You didn't buy each other sex toys, did you? How many could you possibly need?"
Jane coughed, choking on air, while they both turned bright red. "MA! SERIOUSLY? You think that would be any of you business, or we would put them under the tree? Why are you guys so interested in what we got each other, anyway?"
She got up to get a Jane a glass of water before responding. "Really, Jane. It's your first Christmas together, of course we want to know what you got each other. And after what I saw the last time, I really don't know what to believe. If you don't think to shut your door, how am I supposed to know you wouldn't put your 'personal' gifts under the tree?"
Maura took the water from Jane when she started to choke, again. "After what you saw? You WALKED IN on us. On purpose. Why should we have to close our door, when no one else lives here? Why would you even bring that up?"
Handing the water back to Jane, Maura rubbed her back to calm her down. "Angela, I can assure you that any sexually oriented gifts will be opened in private. However, Jane does have a point. Had you not chosen to let yourself into the house, with the intention of catching us having sex, rather or not our bedroom door was closed wouldn't matter. Since you haven't repeated the action, I can only assume that you learned your lesson, and it still doesn't matter if we close our door. Now, if you'd like, we can open our gifts, since you are all so anxious to see what we chose."
Maura picked up the gift between them on the couch, handing it to Jane to open. Tearing the paper off and opening the box, Jane gaped. "Is? It's. You didn't. How? I mean. It's. It is what I think it is, right? How did you do this?"
Tired of waiting, Frankie spoke up. "Hey, are you going to show us what it is? Or do we have to guess?"
Since Jane was still staring at her in disbelief, Maura answered. "It's a jersey signed by the starting players of the Boston Celtics. Whenever Jane managed to overcome her shock enough to remove it from the box, she'll find something else underneath it, as well."
Taking the hint, Jane carefully removed the jersey, finding an envelope underneath. When she opened it, everyone started to worry when she started to almost hyperventilate, before launching herself at Maura and kissing her deeply. When they finally broke apart, they were both breathless.
Maura smiled at her. "I guess that means you like it? I was told they're good seats."
Jane stared at her. "Maura, they're great seats, but it wouldn't matter if they were nose bleeds behind a giant pole. You got me season tickets to the Celtics."
Suddenly, the guys were gathered around Jane, trying to see the tickets in her hand, but Jane barely noticed. Maura's smirk had all her attention. "Well, you did say you would 'flip' for season tickets to the Celtics. I figured since you had already 'flipped' for me, it was only fair that you get the tickets. I called an acquaintance, and he offered to get me the signed jersey, as well."
Jane pulled her into a kiss, smiling against her lips. "I am so glad you're already taken. You're the perfect woman. I think the guys are plotting how to steal you away from me."
Laughing, Maura turned to find all four men standing around them, trying to look innocent. "Well, it's too bad for them, that I am madly in love with you, and they have no chance of succeeding. Perhaps I should open my gift, now."
Jane glared at the guys, putting the jersey and tickets safely back in the box, then handed Maura her gift.
Carefully pealing open the paper, she opened the box, gasping at the bracelet and earrings inside. "Oh, Jane, they're beautiful. I love them."
Resting her chin on Maura's shoulder, Jane looked down at the jewelry. "It's the bracelet that caught my eye when I was ring shopping. That stone, in the middle, is almost the exact color of your eyes."
She turned to place a sweet kiss on Jane's lips. "They're beautiful. Thank you. I think I'm beginning to become quite fond of emeralds, thanks to you."
Angela came over, and Maura dutifully handed her the jewelry box so she could get a better look.
After everyone got a chance to see the jewelry, and Jane let the guys get a better look at her jersey, they started to clean up. It was getting late, and Angela started shooing the guys out, with leftovers in tow. When they'd all gone, she finished putting the food away, then excused herself to the guesthouse.
Maura looked around, saw that everyone was gone, and turned a heated gaze on Jane. "Looks like we're alone. I guess that means I can give you the rest of your gift. You make sure everything is locked up, then come meet me in the bedroom."
Jane hurriedly checked all the doors and set the alarm, turning off lights as she went. When she got to the bedroom, she found Maura spread out on the bed wearing a very small, very tight Celtics jersey and matching boyshorts.
She undressed as she walked toward the bed, licking her lips as she looked over Maura's form. "Merry Christmas to me."
Maura wanted to take Jane to New York and watch the ball drop from a hotel near Times Square, but they were both on-call. Instead, she got them a suite at a hotel in town. After they checked in, they spent some time in the spa getting a massage and just relaxing. They had a quiet dinner in the restaurant downstairs, then went back to their room for champagne.
Jane insisted of making use of the huge tub. She filled the tub with more bubbles than were needed, just because she could, and had room service deliver chocolate covered strawberries. They relaxed in the bath feeding each other strawberries and drinking champagne, until the water went cold.
After they got out, Jane insisted they wear the ridiculously fluffy robes while waiting for the ball to drop. When Maura tried to convince her to let her put on some clothes, Jane explained that she was going to live out as many 'rich people movie cliches' as possible as long as they were staying in a 'swanky' hotel suite. When explaining that there would probably be many more opportunities for them to stay in a hotel together, again, didn't accomplish anything, Maura agreed to go along with whatever Jane wanted.
They had more champagne and strawberries delivered so they could toast the new year at midnight. Maura had a cheese and cracker tray sent up, insisting they needed more than strawberries if they were going to be drinking so much champagne. A few minutes before midnight, Jane turned on the tv so they could watch the ball drop. They shared a kiss, and watched the fireworks out the window.
When Jane opened Maura's robe, she found her wearing a sheer red negligee and panties. Not even caring when she found the time to sneak away to put them on, Jane pushed her back onto the bed and slipped her own robe off. By morning, she was able to cross a few more items off her list of things she wanted to do in an expensive hotel room.
After checking out, they went home, both happy it was a weekend and they'd only have to go to work if there was a case. They'd barely had time to unpack, when Angela came in, excited about something.
She started fixing sandwiches as she talked, ignoring Jane's insistence that they'd just eaten a couple hours before. "You remember I said I was going to the party at your Aunt Sylvia's, right? Well, your cousin Linda was there. I haven't seen her in years, not since she moved to Arizona after she got married. Well, her husband was able to get transferred back to Boston. They're such a nice couple. Anyway, she has twins. They just turned four. As soon as I saw them I knew they'd be perfect. I told her I'd talk to you about it first, of course, but they would just be the cutest little flower girl and ring-bearer. I could just see him in a little suite and her in the cutest little dress with bows in her hair. I haven't heard you mention anything about having picked a flower girls and ring-bearer, and the weddings in just a couple weeks. As soon as you agree, I can go call her and let her know."
Jane rested her head in both hands on the table, rubbing her face. "Ma, do you remember me telling you I wasn't inviting anyone I didn't know to my wedding? I don't remember ever having a cousin named, Linda, before. If I'm not inviting anyone I don't know, then I'm definitely not having strangers' kids in my wedding, even if they are some long-lost cousin."
Huffing, Angela sat down across from her. "Seriously, Jane, you can't be that picky. The wedding's in two weeks, and you still haven't picked a flower girl and ring-bearer. I was just trying to help. Would it really be so bad to just listen to me? At least meet the twins. They really are the cutest things, ever. You need to have a flower girl and ring-bearer, and you've put off picking them for too long. People don't like being asked things last minute, you know."
Maura started rubbing circles on Jane's back, from where she sat next to her. "Actually, Angela, I don't believe we need a flower girl or ring-bearer, since we won't have an aisle for them to walk down."
Angela gaped at them. "You have to have an aisle. What will you walk down, if you don't? Don't you want your father to have a chance to walk you down the aisle?"
Jane laced her fingers through Maura, pulling their hands into her lap. "I am unsure if my Father will be attending. His RSVP specified that he would send a gift if he was unable to be there in person."
Mouth open in shock, it took Angela a moment to respond. "It's his daughter's wedding. What kind of father doesn't want to walk his daughter down the aisle? I have half a mind to yell at him."
Maura gave a small shrug. "He's very busy. It's hard for him to get away from work. I doubt calling him to yell at him would accomplish much. It's highly unlikely you would even get to speak to him without first scheduling an appointment through his assistant."
Jane gave her mother a look to tell her to stop talking. "Ma, we're both grown women. We've been living our own lives and taking care of ourselves for years. We don't need to be walked down an aisle and given away like property. The only person I want 'giving' Maura to me, is Maura. No one else has any right to do so."
Angela refused to give up. "Well, you can still walk down the aisle. Don't you want to see Maura walking down the aisle toward you? You'll need a ring-bearer and flower girl. I already told Linda you would say yes."
Sighing in frustration, Jane ran a hand through her hair. "Ma, why would Maura be walking down the aisle to me? Why wouldn't I be walking down the aisle to her? There's no groom, so how would you decide that? We're not having an aisle, it just doesn't make any sense. There's no bride and groom sides, or bride and bride sides. One of us is not going to be waiting at the end of the aisle for the other. There will be no flower girl or ring-bearer, because we don't need them and there's not going to be an aisle for them to walk down. So, you can go call cousin Linda, who I've never met, and tell her that her twins, who I've also never met, will not be a part of my wedding."
Angela got up with a huff of impatience. "I can understand not wanting to be walked down the aisle, I guess. But how could you disappoint those children. They were so excited when I mentioned they could be in your wedding. Why can't you just be reasonable. I didn't make a fuss when you refused to wear a white dress, but I just can't understand why you wouldn't want to walk down the aisle."
Closing her eyes, Jane counted to ten, twice. Finally calming enough to speak when she felt Maura's hand leave hers to squeeze her knee. "Me, you made a huge scene when I refused to wear a dress. You had everyone in the bridal shop staring while you yelled at me. We're not having an aisle, a flower girl, or a ring-bearer. I don't care if you told them they could be in the wedding. They're four, they have no idea what a flower girl or ring-bearer is. They probably don't even know what a wedding is, and won't remember anything about it by tomorrow. Now, you can go call the cousin I've never met and tell her that the children I've never will not be in my wedding."
Glaring, Angela crossed her arms angrily. "I will do no such thing. If you're going to be unreasonable, then you get to be the one to disappoint those children. I'll call Linda and have her meet us somewhere so you can tell them."
Taking a deep breath, she squeezed Maura's hand tightly. "Ma, either you call Linda and tell her, or we can just elope to Vegas and get married by Elvis. You had no right to promise anyone anything, let alone that they could be in our wedding. It's your fault, so you get to fix it."
Angela stared open-mouthed, while Maura just looked at her in confusion before patting her knee. "Jane, you know Elvis is dead, right? He overdosed on medications. You're not one of those people who think he's still alive, are you? Even if he were he would be in his seventies, and I doubt he would feel any desire to perform our wedding."
Jane turned to stare at her, blinking, her mouth opening and closing several times before she was able to speak. "Ok, I'm kinda surprised you know who Elvis is, and more surprised that you know how old he is. I'm not surprised that you know how he died, or that you have no idea that people go to Vegas to get married by Elvis impersonators."
After a moment, Maura nodded. "So when you said we would elope to Vegas and get married by Elvis, you meant someone dressed as him. I see. I don't understand why that would be desirable, however. It seems rather, tacky."
Chuckling, Jane kissed the side of her head. "I love you. And, yes, it's tacky. It's kinda the point. Weddings in Vegas are supposed to be tacky, because it's Vegas."
Nodding again, Maura turned a serious look on Jane. "I love you, too. I refuse to get married by an Elvis impersonator, however. I want the wedding we planned, so I hope you weren't serious about eloping."
Shaking her head, Jane kept chuckling. "No, I wasn't serious. We're having the wedding we planned, the way we planned it. Ma, you're going to call Linda and explain that you had no right to promise that her kids could be in the wedding. If you have thought about the wedding, you talk to us BEFORE mentioning it to anyone else. Got it?"
Sighing in defeat, Angela shook her head. "Yes. I don't understand why you're being so stubborn, but it is your wedding. I guess it wouldn't be very fair to Mark if you started changing things this close to the wedding. The poor man's been busy enough trying to get everything planned in just a few months, as it is. You should do something nice for him. Maybe invite him over for dinner. He's single, isn't he? He doesn't wear a ring. I'm sure I can find a nice young woman for him to meet. It's a shame to have a wedding planner that's never had their own wedding."
Jane just shook her head, not even trying to follow Angela's train of thought. "Yeah, sure, Ma. We can have him over for dinner. You should probably make sure he doesn't have a girlfriend, before you try to set him up, though. You should probably go call Linda. You don't want to wait too long and have her be upset."
After Angela left to go find Linda's number, Jane pulled Maura with her to sit on the couch. "Tell me why we didn't just elope? We could've gotten married somewhere private, and maybe told Ma a few years later. Instead, we have her wanting pink cupids and ugly dresses and strangers' kids to be in the wedding. I love her, but she drives me nuts."
Maura relaxed into her side. "We didn't elope because we love our friends and family and want them to be there for our wedding."
Smiling, Jane gave her a kiss. "You're right. You're always right. At least there's not too much more Ma can do. We're getting married in a couple weeks. God, Maura, we're getting married. In just a few weeks, you'll be my wife and we'll be sitting on the beach of our own private island. It's like the best dream ever, and I never want to wake up."
Sighing happily, Maura wrapped her arm around Jane's waist and snuggled into her embrace. "I know. I can hardly wait to be able to call you my wife. I love you more than I ever thought possible. I'm choosing to ignore your continued use of the term 'private island,' since I know you're only using it to get a reaction from me."
Jane laughed, resting her cheek against the top of Maura's head, and just enjoyed holding her.
Any time not at work was usually spent on last minute details. There were final fittings, menu and guest number confirmations with the caterer, a couple meetings with Mark, picking up their rings, and more last minute suggestions from Angela.
Days were long, and they rarely had more than a few minutes alone together before they collapsed into bed for the night. Finally, Jane had had enough and refused to talk to or see anyone on Thursday evening, insisting she needed some alone time with her future wife, before Constance arrived the next morning.
They locked all the doors, turned off the lights, and had an indoor picnic in front of the fireplace. Jane turned off their cell phones, having ordered Korsak to call the house phone if they were needed for work. They ate, relaxed, cuddled, and talked about anything BUT wedding plans.
Eventually, Maura realized something. "Jane, we haven't talked about our names."
Jane looked at her like she was nuts. "What do you mean, 'our names?' I'm Jane and you're Maura. What's there to talk about?"
Maura actually rolled her eyes at Jane. "Our last name. We never discussed if we would be keeping our last names, hyphenating, or one of us taking the other's name. It's traditional for the bride to take the groom's last name, but that hardly applies to us. Even in heterosexual marriages, it's becoming more and more common for the woman to either keep her maiden name or hyphenate. We're getting married in a couple days, so we should probably discuss and come to a decision, tonight. I can't believe neither of us thought about it before."
Leaning back with a sigh, Jane thought about it for a minute. "I'm not sure how it was when you were growing up, but kids with hyphenated names always had a bit of a tough time, when I was little. There was a kid in my kindergarten class that couldn't pronounce his last name, because it was so long. Then there were teachers that would either mispronounce or leave off the second half of their name. And, when they get married, they have limited options. Our daughter wouldn't really have the option to hyphenate her name, and our son's wife wouldn't have the option. It just doesn't seem fair to them."
Laughing lightly, Maura kissed her cheek. "I get the impression this is something you've thought about, before. If it helps matters, I want our kids' last name to be Rizzoli. I have no particular ties to my family's name, and my mother is the only member of my family I really have a relationship with. I want them to feel connected to your family, so they'll never doubt they're loved. I would gladly take your name, if you want me to."
Rolling it around in her head, Jane made a face, shaking her head. "I love you, but I just don't like the way Maura Rizzoli sounds. It just doesn't fit. I fell in love with Doctor Maura Isles. I think I'd like to keep her just the way she is."
After a moment, she nodded. "I think I have to agree with you. Maura Rizzoli doesn't sound quite right. Perhaps there are too many vowel sounds. So, you want us to keep our names? I do want our children to have your last name, though."
Jane pulled her in for a deep kiss. "Sounds perfect. Now, would it be ok if I make love to my future wife, Dr. Isles?"
Giggling, Maura returned the kiss, all conversation ended for the night.
When they were a couple blocks from the house, Jane's arms were finally freed so she could yank the coat off her face. She slapped both her brother, and glared at Korsak. "What do you think you're doing? Don't you think Maura's going to be upset when she finds me missing? Did one of you at least grab my phone off the table so I can call her and let her know I'm safe? Or do you want her to have a panic attack the night before our wedding?"
Frankie shook his head. "She won't have time to panic. As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, Frost pulled up. He, Ma, and Mrs. Isles are taking her out. Did you think you could actually get married with without having a bachelor party, first? What kind of best man would that make me?"
Jane glared, punching him in the arm. "Didn't I warn you not to call me the groom? It's not too late to make you wear a dress. I'm sure Maura has something that will fit you. I don't need, or want, a bachelorette party. What made you think kidnapping me was a good idea, anyway? You're lucky I saw who it was before you threw my coat over my head, or I might've seriously hurt someone. Didn't you stop to think that maybe abducting someone who was targeted, repeatedly, by a serial killer might be a BAD idea? Or that I might be a little worried that Doyle might not be happy I'm marrying his daughter?"
Looking sheepish, Korsak watched her in the rearview mirror. "We made sure you saw us, so you knew you weren't in any danger. We just wanted it to be a surprise."
Crossing her arms, Jane almost growled her answer. "Well, mission accomplished. You didn't think that calling to have me meet you wherever we're going would work? Or that you could knock, like normal people, and ask me to come with you? Your go-to plan was kidnapping? You're lucky I need all of you in the wedding, or I'd hurt you. If you ever try to pull something like this again, I won't hesitate to shoot any of you. There are body parts I can aim for that won't keep you from working."
Tommy winced, crossing his legs and covering his lap with his hands. "We won't do it again. Promise. We just wanted you to have fun, and we knew if we just asked you to come, you'd refuse. Just enjoy your party. You're getting married, tomorrow."
Korsak handed her phone back over the seat. "Here, they should have Maura in the car, by now. You can give her a call to let her know you're ok. We really weren't trying to scare you. We just knew you'd never agree to this, willingly."
She took the phone, calling Maura.
Opening the door to Frost, she stared at him. Taking a deep breath, she realized Jane could only have been gone for a few minutes. Closing her eyes for a moment, she stepped aside to let him in.
Fidgeting a bit, she closed the door and followed him into the living room. "Is something wrong, Barry? Nothing happened, did it? Jane was here just a bit ago, and I don't know where she went."
Turning, Frost finally noticed Maura's fidgeting and mild panic. "Oh, no. Jane's fine. Korsak, Frankie, and Tommy came to get her a few minutes ago. She's fine. Probably mad, but fine. They're taking her to her bachelorette party. I'm here to take you to yours. You mother and Angela should be here in a few minutes to go with us."
Closing her eyes in relief, she let out a sigh as she leaned against the counter. "Thank you. Why didn't she tell she was leaving, though? She knows I'd worry when I realized she wasn't here."
Grimacing, Frost looked away. "Yeah, that was Frankie's idea. They kidnapped her. I don't know what their exact plan was, but I know it involved grabbing her and putting her in the car before she could fight back. Like I said, she's probably mad, but ok. I'm sure they'll let her call once she calms down a bit."
Just then, Angela and Constance came through the back door. They stopped, noticing what Maura was wearing.
Constance tutted and started to usher her down the hallway. "Oh, Maura, you should get ready. You don't want to be late to your own bachelorette party. You go hurry up, and we'll wait right here."
Her phone rang while she was getting dressed. Heart racing just a bit, she sighed when she heard Jane's voice on the other end. After being assured, more than once, that Jane was fine, she finally let go of the rest of her worry. They talked for a couple minutes, both promising to be careful. After getting Jane to promise not to hurt the guys, they hung up so Maura could finish getting ready.
A few minutes later, she was ready to go, and followed them out to Frost's car.
Hitting him again, she glared. "A topless bar? This is your big plan? Are you forgetting that I'm not gay? Is this some sort of joke?"
Both hands up, and a grin on his face, Frankie chuckled. "Come on, Sis. It's a bachelor party. At least it's not a strip club. The food's supposed to be pretty good. The waitresses just happen to be topless. What's the matter? Can't handle seeing a few boobs?"
Rolling her eyes, she got followed Tommy out of the car. "Whatever. Just don't think I'll be forgetting this. BOTH of you will be getting payback. Korsak, you're not getting off free, either. I WILL get you back for this. The food better be amazing."
They went inside and got a table, Jane reading the menu while the guys watched the waitresses. When their waitress came to the table, Jane ordered, then glared at the guys as they scrambled to open their menus.
As the waitress walked away, Frankie nudged Jane's shoulder. "So, what do you think? She's not as hot as the blonde over there, but she's still pretty hot."
She glared at him. "First of all, don't say 'hot.' It makes me think of Giovanni, which makes me want to hurl. Second, I didn't notice. I told you, I'm not gay. I guess she's pretty, but they're not exactly going to hire ugly waitresses."
They stared at her, Tommy finally deciding to ask. "How could you not notice? You're not gay, but you're not blind, either. You're obviously attracted to Maura, so you have to like women."
Sighing, Jane closed her eyes, trying to figure out how to explain. "I'm not attracted women. I'm attracted to Maura. She's the only woman that's ever got my attention, like that. Yeah, I notice when a woman is attractive, the same way I notice a cute kid or a puppy or a nice painting. I'm sure you notice if another man would be considered attractive, even if you're not attracted to him. You just see someone, and automatically categorize them. I'm just not attracted to women. I still consider myself straight, I just happen to be completely in love with the one woman I'm attracted to."
The waitress came back with their drinks, and the guys decided to drop it. Jane figured they'd probably never really understand, but she didn't really understand it, either.
The rest of the evening turned out to be a lot more fun than she expected. The food was actually really good. After awhile, she started pointing out waitresses for the guys to compare, and they pointed out a few of the customers for her to comment on. After a few beers, they were laughing and having fun. When the bar closed, at two, they piled into the car and Korsak drove them home. Jane thanked them for her party, completely forgetting she started out the evening mad at them, and stumbled her way inside.
The performer on stage was almost done, stripped down to just a g-string. Maura watched with appreciative eyes, while Frost looked a little nervous. Angela and Constance seemed to commenting to each other.
Angela leaned over to be heard over the music. "We thought you might miss being able to look at men."
Maura took a moment to watch the man on stage. "I don't miss having sex with men. Jane is more than able to satisfy me. Jane and I both enjoy watching attractive men when we go to the gym. She gets embarrassed when I comment on their physique, but she knows there's no reason to feel jealous. She doesn't mind if I enjoy looking at an attractive man, or woman, as long as I don't vocalize my appreciation so others can hear."
Nodding, Angela watched the next performer come out onto the stage. "So, you're saying you can still look at men?"
Tilting her head, she watched as he unbuttoned his shirt to slide it off. "Yes, and woman. Jane and I often comment when we see a man we find attractive. Even though she's not attracted to them, she doesn't mind when I point out an attractive woman. After all, it's human nature to notice attractive specimens of one's perfered gender."
They watched for several more minutes, Angela fishing out some singles and tucking one into the side of his g-string when the performer came over to them. Once she explained the process, Constance joined her.
When the next performer was announced, Maura looked over at Frost. He was sweating a little bit, and looked slightly nervous.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, she leaned over to talk to him. "Are you uncomfortable? You didn't have to pick a venue you would be uncomfortable in. I do enjoy the female form, as well, or we could have simply gone to a bar or restaurant.
Taking a deep breath, he turned to her. "No, it's ok. I'm not really uncomfortable, at least not because of the performers. I just have an irrational fear that someone from the station will see me here, or my dad. I know my dad is probably on a ship somewhere, so that makes no sense, at all. And if another cop saw me here, then they'd have to admit they were here, too. I'm ok, really."
Patting his shoulder, she watched him take one last look around before visibly relaxing and smiling at her. They turned to watch the performance.
Frost relaxed after that, and they all enjoyed themselves. Angela and Constance drank just a little too much wine, and Maura and Frost had to laugh at some of the comments they made about, and to, the performers. By the time they left, they were all laughing, and Angela had insisted they all get a lap dance.
When he dropped the women off, he was surprised to get a hug from all of them as they left the car, still laughing.
Maura let them in the house, so Angela wouldn't have to walk all the way around to the back. They tried to be quiet, and were surprised to find Jane sitting out on the couch. Angela slumped into a stool at the counter, and Constance excused herself to bed.
Maura sat down beside, looking a little worried. "You're not still upset, are you? I thought you'd either still be out, or in bed."
Jane pulled her into her side, kissing her head. "No, not upset. I tried to go to bed, but I couldn't sleep without you there, so I decided to wait up. It sounds like you guys had fun. Where did you end up going?"
Smiling, she snuggled in closer. "Barry and Angela picked a strip club that caters to women. The men performing were quite attractive, and we had fun. We got lap dances and watched the performances. The wine wasn't as good as I'm used to, but it was still acceptable, and better than I expected at an establishment of that sort. It was fun."
Looking to her mother for confirmation, she asked, "You got lap dances? From male strippers? All of you? As in, Frost and your mother, too?"
Giggling, Maura nodded, while Angela smiled. "Yes, Angela insisted that Barry receive a lap dance, as well. Once he got over his fear of being seen there, he relaxed and seemed to really enjoy himself. Mother was quite taken with the dancer that performed hers, and gave him a sizable tip. I was surprised at where she placed it, however."
She took a moment to process, finally just shaking her head. "Wow. Not really what I expected. I can't picture Constance Isles in a strip club getting a lap dance from a mostly naked man. Or Frost, for that matter. I'm glad you had fun. Frankie decided I needed to go to a topless bar. After I explained that I'm not attracted to women, just you, and got them to stop asking me to compare the waitresses, I had fun. Tommy saw an old girlfriend there, which was interesting. It was fun, though. The food was good, and I got to rib the guys when I caught them staring at a pair of boobs. I thought Korsak was going to drown in his drool, at one point."
Maura's response was interrupted by a yawn, so Jane stood, pulling her up with her. "Come on, sleepyhead. It's late, and we're both tired. We're getting married tomorrow. It'd be embarrassing if one of fell asleep in the cake."
They turned to find Angela resting her head on her hand as she leaned against the counter. Jane nudged her completely awake. "Ma, you should probably go to bed, too. It's going to be a long day, tomorrow. Thanks for taking Maura out. We'll see you in the morning. I'll call the guys to make sure they're up and get to the hotel on time. I made sure Frankie and Tommy didn't drink too much, so they shouldn't be hung over. You, on the other hand, should probably go sleep off whatever you drank, and take an aspirin. Night, Ma. Love you."
After a half-asleep Angela was safely in the guesthouse, Jane locked up and collapsed in bed next to Maura, pulling her into her arms before falling asleep.
Almost an hour later, Jane watched as Maura stretched, burrowing her face into Jane's neck. When she finally lifted her head and opened her eyes, Jane leaned down to kiss her forehead, smiling brightly. "Morning, Babe. We're getting married today."
Closing her eyes and cuddling further under the blankets, and into Jane's arms, Maura hummed happily. "Mmmmm, I know. Do we have to be up, yet?"
Turning, Jane checked the clock for the first time that morning. "Nope, not for another hour, or so. Do you realize, that the next time we wake up together, we'll be married? I'll be waking up with my wife."
Maura smiled at the dazed tone in her voice. "Yes, I had realized that. The next time we wake up together, will probably be on the plane on the way to the island."
Leaning down, she kissed Maura deeply. "Yes, our private plane to out private island. I'm not sure how much sleeping we'll be doing, however. Remember, there's a club we have to join. You, on a private plane, on our wedding night. Yeah, we're not going to be getting much sleep."
Getting lost in the kiss for several moments, Maura finally pulled away. "I look forward to it. We should probably get up, though, before we get carried away. Our mothers will probably be knocking to make sure we're up, soon. Why don't you get a shower, and I'll go start breakfast?"
Jane kissed her again, then reluctantly got out of bed. "Ok. I'd ask you to join me, I know we don't have time. Although, from the way they looked last night, I doubt either of our mothers are going to be in a hurry to wake up, this morning. How much did you guys drink, anyway? I don't think I've ever seen Ma drunk, before."
Stretching out in the bed, Maura watched Jane start to undress for her shower. "I'm not entirely sure how much they drank. Barry was driving, so he only had one beer when we got there. I had several glasses of wine. Angela and my mother both had several glasses of wine, as well. I think it was the vodka shots Angela insisted on, sometime before the lap dances. Actually, the vodka may be to blame for the lap dances."
Jane sputtered, laughing. "Our mothers were doing vodka shots, together? Did your mother even know what a shot was, before last night? How does MY mother know what a shot is?"
Head tilted to the side, Maura thought for a moment. "You'd have to ask Angela. I don't remember her saying. I was rather surprised Mother agreed so easily to do shots. I didn't even realize that she knew what they were, until you mentioned it. I think that was the first time I ever saw her drink alcohol, other than wine. How they acquired that knowledge, may be best left unanswered."
Shuddering slightly, Jane readily agreed. "You're right, I really don't need to hear stories about Ma's misspent youth getting drunk with god knows who. I'm gonna get in the shower, before I have to do something about the way you're looking at me."
Maura smirked, watching Jane enter the bathroom before getting out of bed, herself.
When Jane got out of the shower, she found Maura in the kitchen making breakfast. Constance was sitting at the counter with a cup of tea and Angela was staring at the toaster, waiting for it to pop.
Jane kissed Maura's cheek, laughing at the older women. "Regretting the vodka shots? There's aspirin in the bathroom, if you need it."
Constance waved a hand in Jane's general direction. "I'm fine. It's been a few years since I had that much alcohol, but it was my daughter's bachelorette party. It was fun. I'd never been to a strip club, before. Buck seemed genuinely apologetic that he couldn't come home with us."
Choking on her coffee, Jane stared at Maura with wide eyes. "Buck? Who was Buck, and why would he be coming home with you?"
Maura rubbed a soothing hand on her back, while she coughed. "Buck was one of the performers. I don't believe it was his real name, however. Angela asked him to accompany us home, after he gave her a lap dance, and he declined. He was quite attractive, and well-endowed."
Jane groaned, covering her face. "Thanks, now I have a mental picture of my mother asking a well-endowed male stripper to go home with her. Thanks, Maura. Not how I wanted to start my wedding day. I'm gonna go bleach my brain, now."
Pulling her hands off her face, Maura leaned in to whisper in her ear. "Would it help if I mentioned that I took pole-dancing classes before I started yoga? It's very good exercise."
She pulled back to meet Maura's eyes, swallowing. "Yes, that does help. Why did I not know this, before?"
Turning to finish fixing breakfast, Maura glanced over her shoulder. "You never asked."
When it became clear that Angela's nervous fluttering and admonishments for Jane to calm down and stop messing up her hair, Frankie slipped out the door. A few minutes later, he came back with Korsak, and a suggestion that Angela go make sure the decorations were arranged correctly.
Jane finally stopped pacing when she almost ran into Korsak. He put both hands on her shoulders, and walked her over to a chair to sit down. After making sure she was going to stay sitting, he went to retrieve a bottle of water.
He dragged a chair over to sit across from her, and handed her the bottle of water. "Why are you so nervous? I've seen you face down armed gunmen, hyped up junkies, and an ax-wielding rapist. You've taken on Patty Doyle and shot a gun through yourself to take down a dirty cop. Hell, you tackled a man holding a live grenade while you were still recovering from the gunshot wound. So, why are you nervous?"
She stared at him for a moment, uncomprehending. "I'm getting married."
Chuckling, Korsak leaned back in his chair. "Are you worried that she'll change her mind? Or that she doesn't really love you? That it's not going to work out?"
Her answer was immediate. "No, of course not. I love her, more than I've ever loved anyone, and she loves me. That's never going to change."
He nodded, grinning just a little. "So, why are you nervous?"
Taking a deep breath, Jane leaned her head back, staring at the ceiling for a moment. "It's the most important day of my life. I'm marrying Maura Isles. Crazy, quirky, literal, methodical, gorgeous, perfect, Maura Isles. Of course I'm nervous. Weren't you nervous on your wedding day?"
Korsak shrugged. "Yeah, but those marriages weren't meant to last. You and Maura, you're going to last. You guys have the forever kind of love most people never find. You've been through more than anyone should have to deal with, and come out the other side, stronger than ever. You know each others' strengths and weaknesses, and love each all the more for them. So, why are you nervous?"
Sighing, she started to smile. "You're right. Why AM I nervous? I'm marrying Maura Isles, nothing can make this day less than perfect. Thanks, Korsak."
He patted her shoulder as he stood up, smiling. "Any time. Gotta have each others' backs, right? Now, let me go get Angela. You want to look good for your girl, and it looks like you combed your hair with a garden rake."
Jane turned to look in the mirror, grimacing at her reflection and grabbing her brush.
Finally, Constance got up and , standing behind her, placed both hands on Maura's shoulders. They looked at each in the mirror. "Maura, everything's going to perfect. You have a wonderful wedding planner that's out there making sure everything is taken care of. Nothing's going to go wrong."
Taking a deep breath, Maura nodded. "Thank you, Mother. I know it's irrational, but I don't want anything to go wrong, today. The past has shown that things tend to go wrong when Jane and I least expect it."
Frost walked over to lean against the table. "There's going to be enough cops here that there's no way any criminal will even think about trying to cause any problems. You're the only member of the wedding party without a badge, and several of the guests are cops. We have a couple uniforms stationed at the doors to keep away trouble, and the press."
Maura smiled at him. "Thanks, Barry, I hadn't even thought that the press might show up."
He waved it off with a chuckle. "No thanks needed. The city's hero marries the Chief M.E., who comes from one of Boston's richest families, there's bound to be media attention. If any reporters try to get in, they'll be turned away. By the time you get back from your honeymoon, most of the fuss will have died down. Just let everyone else take care of the details, today."
Constance turned to look at her. "Jane's the city's hero? Why didn't you tell me about that? What did she do?"
Maura smiled, forgetting all about her worries she told her mother about Bobby, the award ceremony, and the lives Jane had saved over the years.
Jane and Maura entered at the same time, from opposite sides. Walking to meet in the middle, they couldn't take their eyes off each other. They barely noticed when they stopped in front of Korsak.
The black tux Jane was wearing was offset with an ice blue vest. Her white shirt was unbuttoned at the top, showing her collarbone. When she looked closer, Maura noticed that the buttons were all a bright, emerald green. Her hair was left down, brushed sleek and styled to fall in gentle curls down her back.
Maura's dress was simple, but stunning. The smooth satin skimmed her curves, flaring into a full skirt. It was strapless and the bodice and skirt were trimmed in delicate ice blue beading. When they were standing together, Jane realized the beading was set in the points of the white snowflakes embroidered into the fabric.
Korsak started the ceremony, and they exchanged vows in a daze. When Frankie handed her Maura's ring, Jane ran her fingertip over the inscription they'd picked for the inside of their bands. After deciding against initials or their wedding date, the decision had been easy. Their rings simply read LLBFF.
The garden shone under a blanket of fresh snow. Clear lights twinkled in the branches of the trees, shining through the snow and making it glow. More lights wound around the ropes and seat of the swing, drawing the eye. The fountain stood out against the snow, reflecting the light back and looking almost silver.
Maura's ice sculpture sat on a table near the doors leading out to the garden. What had started out as a joke, turned into a real idea. Carved in relief in he ice were a pair of hand cuffs, a pair of crossed scalpels interwoven with them. The base was lit, making the ice shine blue.
The food was delicious, and dinner passed quickly in a hum of conversation and laughter. Frankie, Frost, and Korsak gave toasts, making everyone laugh and cry in turns. Once Korsak sat down, Tommy loudly insisted they kiss, and everyone cheered when they happily complied.
When it came time to cut the cake, Jane almost didn't want to. It was a beautiful creation with ice blue flowers and green leaves trailing down from the top layer. White snowflakes were applied in some sort of icing or glaze that shimmered in the light. Maura finally took the knife, guiding Jane's hand as they cut the first piece. They disappointed everyone by feeding each other neatly.
Music played quietly in the background as everyone enjoyed their cake, until the DJ announced it was time for the first dance. Jane led Maura out onto the dance floor as Lullaby by the Dixie Chicks started to play. They swayed softly, listening to the song and holding each other.
After the song ended, the DJ announced the father daughter dance. Jane smiled as her father walked up. Maura started to walk off the dance floor, surprised when Korsak met her part way, leading back out to dance. Jane smiled as both of them, mouthing a thanks to Korsak.
It was late, when the reception finally ended. Jane and Maura ran out to the waiting limo, through a flurry of fresh snow. They were exhausted, and their feet hurt from dancing, but they couldn't stop smiling. They relaxed against each other, watching the snow-filled night pass outside the limo as it made it's way to the airport and their waiting plane.
The wedding was over, and they were both ready for the honeymoon to begin.
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