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24 September 2010 @ 03:13 am
Fic: Welcome to the Family (Rizzoli & Isles)  
Title: Welcome to the Family (Rizzoli & Isles)
Rating: PG-13 (an F-bomb gets dropped)
Warnings: First season finale spoiler; Only my 3rd or 4th fic attempt- hope it doesn't suck; Unbeta'd (but lots of encouragement from kennedyismyhero so thank you :))
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Tess Gerritsen and Janet Tamaro; I don't own them, I don't claim to own them, and I am not profiting from them
Summary: Jane is awake in the hospital, and Maura is by her side.

"Our sense of smell is the weakest in the morning," Maura told me once during one of her first autopsies with the Boston Police Department. Yet, here I am, waking up on my third day in the hospital and acutely aware that she is nearby- I don't even have to open my eyes to double check. It must be that expensive shampoo she uses; it seems to gently waft off of her and surround the room in a feeling of comfort, of home.

I keep my eyes closed and breathe deeply, smelling the bouquet of flowers on the small table next to me, courtesy of Frost and Korsak. Several roses and a card that encourages me to "Take time to stop and smell the roses... Just not too much time because we want you back with us soon! Get well, Janie," and is lovingly signed by both men. I can faintly smell the bouquet from my parents, across the room in front of the bed, and I smile. I sink back into the pillow a bit more and thank anyone who may be up there listening for the chance to be here today.

My thoughts then turn to Maura, the woman who has not left my side since I woke up yesterday afternoon. I can hear her snoring lightly in the chaise across the room, exhaustion finally getting the better of her. I slowly open my eyes, finally exposing myself to this new day, one that many feared I may never see again, and watch as the sun's rays dance across Maura's sleeping form.

She's laying on her side, away from the window and toward my bed. I study the delicate features of her face and marvel at the fluttering of her eyelashes against her cheek. I wonder what she's dreaming about, as she looks so peaceful, so happy. I will never forget the watery grin she gave me yesterday when my weary eyes first connected with hers. She gently placed my hand back down on the bed and moved up to brush the hair off of my forehead before placing a gentle kiss there.

We only had a few minutes of conversation before my morphine drip kicked in and sent me back to a world of no pain, of no nightmares, and of no worries.

"Hi," I managed to croak with a slight smile, my throat and lips dry and cracking.
"I'm glad you're back, you've had a lot of people worried about you," she whispered with teary eyes and a lopsided smile before angling the straw of my hospital-issued water bottle toward my lips.

I took several generous sips, swallowing carefully, and leaning back into the scratchy pillow. I could see it in her eyes that she was hurting- that her whole world nearly came crashing to the ground. My hand reached for hers as she settled herself back into the chair beside my bed, and she grasped and squeezed it tenderly, rubbing her thumb over my knuckles. I sighed at the contact, grateful to be alive, to be able to feel her touch, to have this moment in my life.

With a shaky breath, I squeezed her hand so that she was looking into my eyes once again. The corners of my mouth rose slightly as I gathered strength from her gaze and steeled myself for this declaration.

"I can't even imagine what you've been going through the last few days, Maura. I'm sorry that you had to see... ya know."
"You shoot yourself?"
"Yeah, that." I looked down momentarily to collect my thoughts and then back into hazel eyes flecked with green. "I don't know if I can make it better, but I know that I will be around to try. If you'll let me, that is."
She wiped a wayward tear from her face with her other hand and looked skyward, formulating a response. Finally, she turned my hand over, kissed my palm and placed it against her cheek, leaning into my touch. We stayed like that for several minutes: breathing each other in, looking into each others' eyes, her hand cupping mine as I rubbed my thumb over her cheekbone.

My breathing slowed, eventually, and my eyes began to close, despite my desire to continue staring at the beautiful woman next to me. Maura noticed the change right away, of course. She slowly rose from her seat and kissed the corner of my mouth, smoothing out my hair and adjusting my blankets along the way.

"Mmm, night M, love you. So much."
"I love you too, Jane. Get some rest. I'll be here when you wake up."
I could hear the smile in her voice before I faded off to sleep.

I smile at the memory, watching Maura shift slightly in her sleep, and let out a contented sigh. I wish the hospital bed were bigger so I could be holding her in my arms right now, kissing the crown of her head, and then chuckling softly as the soft hairs along her hairline tickle my nose. I want to bury my head in her neck and place soft kisses along the path to her earlobe. I want to whisper that I love her, and then lean back to see the generous grin that would surely appear across her beautiful face. Oh, and that dimple! That perfect little dimple...

My thoughts are interrupted as the nurse comes in quietly to check my vitals. I motion to Maura, a smile on my face, and indicate that she is still sleeping, hoping that the nurse will take heed and perform her duties without much of a ruckus. She's nearly finished when the velcro of the blood pressure cuff cuts into the air and Maura starts to stir. What happened to that silent velcro invention from the movie "Garden State?" Surely, someone could have come up with that in real life by now! The nurse patters out of the room as Maura opens her eyes and stretches out her stiff muscles.

She looks up at me, surprised to see me awake, I suppose. Nearly every time I've slept over, I am the last to rise, with Maura resorting to setting a big cup of coffee next to the bed and extolling the mysteries of caffeine, adenosine receptors, and increased neuron firing in the brain until I grumble and swing my legs over the side of the bed.

"Hey sleepyhead," I tease as I grin at her and watch as she blinks the sleep away and runs a hand through her hair in an attempt to tame her bedhead. She smirks and walks over to my bed, unable to resist checking the readings on the monitors that quietly beep next to me.
"I don't think that I've ever seen you this alert at 7:22AM. Did you bribe the nurse into bringing you coffee? You know you can't have any with the pain medication you're on-"
"I know Maura," I gently interrupt. "I slept really well last night and woke up in a good mood- I promise, there have been no bribes for coffee."

I reach for her hand and interlace our fingers together, both of us stare down at our joined hands.
"Did you mean what you said last night, I mean, when you said that you loved me?"
"You said it first, you know."
"I know, and I'm quite proud of that achievement, thank you very much, but I need to know that you want this, Maura. Want us."
She bites her lower lip and stands up a little straighter before making eye contact. "I've wanted this, wanted you, for so long, Jane, that I can't remember wanting anything else," she says breathily.

Tears spring to both of our eyes, and I pull her close, trying my best to wrap my arms around her, despite my current position and the injury to my side.
"Ah, fuck it," I growl, and I'm immediately chastised with Maura's patented, "Jane! Language..."
"Help me get this stupid arm thing down, I want you to lay with me. Please?"
Maura's hands deftly click a few buttons and the sidearm lowers. I slide over toward the other side of the bed and crook a finger at her, grinning widely, "C'mere."

She gives me a knowing look before removing her heels and hopping up onto the bed to curl into my left side. She's not sure where to put her left arm, obviously wanting to avoid the bandages on my right side, so it dances in the air for a few seconds before I grab it and wrap her delicate hand in mine, placing our joined hands over my heart.

My other hand rubs circles along her back and strokes her hair, her honeyed highlights bathe in the sunlight from the window. I kiss the crown of her head and chuckle softly as the soft hairs along her hairline tickle my nose, just like I knew they would. I feel her smile on my neck before she leans back and kisses me softly on the lips. We rest our foreheads together, our eyes closed, the exhales from our noses mingling together above our lips.

"This wasn't how I imagined our first kiss," she says quietly. "I haven't even brushed my teeth this morning- the anaerobic bacteria probably had a field day in my mouth last night!"
I laugh heartily at this and wrap my arm tighter around her, feeling her shake with laughter next to me. "It's not like this is the first time we've spent an early morning together, M. If your morning breath was a dealbreaker for me, you'd still be sitting on the chaise over there," I joke as I point to it with our joined hands. She buries her head in my neck again, smiling against the sensitive skin there.

A knock on the door startles us both and I look over to see my mother walking in with a large thermos of coffee and a shy smile on her face. I can feel Maura's eyes on me, wondering if she should get up and put as much distance as possible between us. I squeeze her shoulder and hold her tight to me, hopefully conveying that this is where I want her to be and there is no running away: we'll face everyone together, even my occasionally brash mother.

"Mornin' Ma, you brought me coffee?" I can hear Maura snicker next to me, wanting to remind me that I can't drink the delicious liquid just yet.
"Actually, Jane, I was hoping to surprise Maura with a cup, but you two are early birds this morning!"
"Oh, Mrs. Rizzoli, that's so sweet of you," Maura says gratefully and starts to rise from the bed.
"Oh honey, call me Angela, please."

I feel the loss of Maura's contact and immediately miss the warmth of her body pressed to mine. I smile, though, as I watch the two most important women in my life talking and laughing as they mix cream and sugar into their coffee.

My mother guides Maura back to the bed, a hand gently rubbing between her shoulderblades, and then settles herself down by my feet, patting my shins with her free hand, a joyous smile plastering her face.

Maura perches herself next to me on the bed, one leg dangling down, and I wrap my left arm loosely around her waist to give her a bit more stability. She smiles down at me with gratitude, with love, with relief that I have not pushed her away just because someone has invaded our little bubble.

Ma fills me in on all of the taped baseball games that Frankie has been watching non-stop on the couch since his release from the hospital two days ago, the status of the rose bushes that Pop planted a few weeks ago, the neighbor's cat that had kittens recently, and her desire to see both Maura and me at dinner this Sunday- she's making lasagna and it is "not to be missed," she exclaims to Maura.

She kisses me goodbye and makes us promise to call her if I'm cleared to leave this afternoon. Maura stands and thanks her for the coffee as Ma envelopes her into a tight hug, which is instantly returned, and Maura smiles and nods at something that is whispered into her ear. Maura walks her to the door and they hug again, Ma pointing at her and making her promise to come to Sunday dinner.

Maura practically skips back to the bed and curls up against my side once again as I lift my arm in invitation. She sighs happily once she is settled.

The suspense is killing me and I finally turn to look at Maura squarely, running a finger lightly down her jawline. "Come on, out with it. What did she whisper to you?"

Maura closes her eyes briefly, trying to keep the tears at bay, but fails. She clears her throat and smiles at me before revealing what my mother told her. "She said, 'I've always hoped it would be you; you have always made her so happy. Welcome to the family, sweetheart. Take care of my Janie, please.'"
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
wildwildwood: Golden Girls - All Togetherwildwildwood on September 24th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
So. Sweet.
ellienonameellienoname on September 24th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
Snuffsnuffnyc on September 24th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
Uh, hello? Awesomeness, line 1. Love what you've done here. Xoxo
Feliciadoooom_kitteh on September 24th, 2010 09:46 am (UTC)
That was wonderful. What an awesome fic to end the night :3
Elizabeth: RIZSLES;; I ship it <3while_you_can on September 24th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
--Guh! my heart just melted a little...
Heather: Jane and Maura | Hand Holdinghezaman on September 24th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
awwwwww, this is absolutely adorable! <3
(Anonymous) on September 24th, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
Awww that was a great read. U did well
you're still going to the party, bitch: r&i: clearly just friendsmammothluv on September 24th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
This was really sweet!
Michelle VanasdalanMichelle Vanasdalan on September 24th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC)
Sweet story, now if only TNT would get a clue;) I will be looking forward to reading more.
Xamanthe: Rizzoli & Islesxamanthe on September 24th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
Aw! Loved it!
princessitsy: Serious Faceprincessitsy on September 24th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Now that was beautiful and just perfect.
laurel_hardylaurel_hardy on September 24th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Very nice.
Blakeigh Hollisblakeighhollis on September 24th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
that was so beautiful..esp the end
mollehthats_my_story on September 24th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
adorable <3
System D Railsystym_d_rail on September 24th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
Awwwww! Super sweet
mlspikie: Maura & Jane animatedml_spikie on September 25th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
That was so sweet and so perfect.
jennjenn30jennjenn30 on September 25th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
This was so very sweet..:-)
thequeenofsinthequeenofsin on September 25th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
awww man! That was lovely!
winstontawinstonta on September 26th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
Awww, this is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thanks for posting such a great post-finale story. I hope you decide to write more R&I fic, and that of course you decide to post more soon :)
One Whose Honesty is Stronger Than Her Fear: newfanamilyn on September 30th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
I love the description and the images you create, especially the "honeyed highlights" in Maura's hair, the awkwardness of the extra arm, and how Jane is protective of holding Maura even when Angela gets there. And...Angela FTW, "I always hoped it would be you." Perfect.