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First and Second Chances

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Emma sat on the train staring blankly out the window. Nothing but trees were flying by but for all she knew a dragon could be outside the window and she wouldn't notice. She was in shock. She knew it, she had seen enough in her line of work to know all the ways someone could respond to a traumatic event. A trauma? Is that what this was? No one was hurt, at least not physically, cause who was she kidding something was defiantly shattered. Her brain just kept spinning in circles, never seeming to finish any coherent thought. Emma felt the seat beside her sink in. Her eyes snapped to the man next to her, while her hand reached at the imaginary gun at her waist. It wasn't there and she knew it.

The man's eyes widen slightly and he gave her wry smile, "Hello Love, mind sharing a cabin?" Emma stared for a second before nodding her head slightly, and straightening up in the seat. The blonde blinked quickly before dropping her hands back in to her lap.

"Yeah, sure of course." Emma slid over against the window. The man looked her the sly smile dropping as he looked at the woman in front of him.

"Want to talk about it?"

"Excuse me?" The blonde gave a side glance back at the man beside her. He was wearing a long coat that she was sure he thought made him look cool, and he had this light Irish accent.

"Come on, anyone can see you have something on your mind. Someone perhaps? Get in to it with your fella, dear."

Emma locked eyes with the man. "Don't call me dear," she snapped. The man continued to give a smirk.

"Struck a nerve I see." Emma narrowed her eyes, she went to open her mouth but was cut off. "Hey it's a long train ride, you look like you could use a person to vent to who better to tell than a stranger?"

Emma sat there silently for a few minutes, ignoring the stare of the stranger. The man was right, as annoying as he was. All the feelings building up in her were going to come out, one way or the other. Maybe it would help, or maybe it would make it all too real. She turned her head to the window and leaned her forehead against the glass, and watched the trees.

Albany- One hour ago

Emma shut the door to the cab and slung her duffel bag over her shoulder, pausing briefly to take in the hotel before smiling brightly at the doorman. She ran inside to the front desk. A young woman looked up from her computer with a wide, if fake, smile. Her light auburn hair was pulled up into a neat French twist, according to the name tag on her jacket her name was Karen.

"Welcome to the Emperor Hotel, checking in?" She chirped.

Emma leaned into the counter, "Hello Karen, actually I just need a room key. My wife is already checked in, she been here a couple of days already."

"Oh okay, well is your wife in the lobby?" The woman looked around, seeing no one she turned to the blonde. " We need her to come down and authorize a new key being programmed if she's the name on file... It's a safety measure."

The blondes smile dropped slightly, "Of course, I understand. I was hoping to surprise her. I spoke to her about 45 minutes ago and she was going to grab a late dinner. She doesn't know I was able to get time off work." She bent down like she was about to share a secret, she had learned a long time ago most people could be broken with a bit of charm. It wouldn't be the end of the world if she had to call Regina but she really wanted to surprise her. Emma was supposed to be working, but she had gotten time off at the last minute.

Emma and Regina had been married for almost four years, together for six, both their jobs were challenging but they had always made their relationship a priority. There were countless nights when one had fallen in to bed hours after the other had fallen asleep because of work. Emma couldn't never really rest unless her wife was beside her, and she hadn't seen her for five days.

"Ma'am I'm sorry but it goes against policy." The woman's smile held as fake as ever, but her eyes were quickly turning steely. It was time for a new approach. Emma pulled her ID out of her duffel and laid it face down on the counter. Her gold badge glittered from the light above, giving the lady a good look before going ahead.

"If you could call your manager I would be more than happy to discuss the safety policy with them." Front Desk Karen's eyes widen looking quickly between the pretty blonde and the badge on the counter. Emma could see the wheels turning in her head; the girl wouldn't get in trouble with the manager if she called him but all she really wanted to do was get back to her Facebook on the computer.

Taking a deep sigh, "May I have your wife's name, officer?"

Emma matched her irritated sigh with a look, "Detective... Swan-Mills, my wife is the same last name. First name Regina." The woman made a few quick taps on the keyboard before glancing back a the blonde.

"I see a Regina Mills here." Karen said, emphasizing the last name. " She's in the executive suite, Room 901." She quickly programmed a key card and handed it to the blonde. Emma went to grab the card from the woman but she didn't release immediately. "Do me a favor? Don't get me fired."

Emma gave the woman a smile and walked to the elevator. Pushing the button for the ninth floor her smile remained on her face. Her beautiful brunette had left Sunday afternoon to drive to Albany for a case she had been working on for months. A woman had been charged with killing her husband and Regina was defending her. Their jobs had put them on opposing sides of cases a few times over the years, ending in passionate fights and make up sex, but this time Emma was actually pulling for the defense. The 30 year old defendant had been abused by her millionaire husband for years when she snapped and shot him with the pistol he kept in his office. Regina had worked tirelessly finding witness statements and doctors notes to build a defense on the basis of battered woman syndrome, and had gotten a change of venue to lessen the media attention. So that is how Emma found herself in Albany on a Thursday afternoon, her wife was giving closing arguments in the morning and the blonde wanted to show her support. It had been a long half year for the couple but fall was here and Emma wanted nothing more than to see her lady shine.

The elevator doors opened and she walked off to see a long hallway lined with just four doors, two on each side.

"Wow." The blonde thought to herself she hadn't realized when the lady at the desk said suite she meant the penthouse. It wasn't unusual for her wife to choose to stay in a larger room but, it seemed like a waste for one person. Emma shook her head lightly, " Oh the difference a well bred childhood makes." Finding the correct door she removed the key card from her jacket pocket. It was when she looked down at the door she saw the privacy sign. At the sight of the "Do Not Disturb" sign she paused, a small wave washed over her. She pushed the key in to the slot but delayed pulling it out, tilting her head she briefly considered knocking. Thinking it over quickly she closed her eyes before pulling out the card, watching the little light turn green she opened the door. She walked in to the room slowly, a feeling of anxiety fell over her as she took in the large quite suite. The room was divided with a large living room and kitchen in the center and two rooms with double doors at opposite ends. To the right the double doors were open wide showing an empty room with queen bed. Emma swung her head to the left where the other rooms doors were tightly shut, but noises from a low television were in the background. Regina never left a TV on when she left a room.

The blonde walked slowly and quietly through the room as she tried to keep her heart beat steady. She zeroed in on the doors, her head was screamed at her to stop but she couldn't. Her natural instincts the ones that made her a good cop and had gotten her out of sticky situations more than once had turned against her. The same gut feelings that told her where to looks for clues at crime scenes and when someone was lying, were now telling her that when she opened those doors she would be changing her world.

She laid her hand on the knob and quietly twisted the handle and pushed the door open. She closed her eyes lightly, taking a deep breath before finishing opening the door. The TV cast a low glow across the bed where her gorgeous wife lay sleeping face down nothing on but a blue sheet at her mid back. A small smile lifted on the blondes face, she felt a laugh rise in her chest.

"I guess she decided to stay in after all," she thought.

Emma took a step in to the room walking towards the bed but was stopped by the sound of the toilet flushing. Another noise and two heavy steps, her senses slowed down every second felt minutes long. The bathroom pulled open to reveal a man in boxers, a shocked look came across his face when he spotted her before fading to a smirk.

The man with sandy colored hair glanced at the woman on the bed, then back at Emma before saying, "See something you like?" It suddenly clicked who the man in the towel was, the prosecutor in her Regina's trial.

Emma sent a look to the brunette, filled with disgust, "It looks like you did." The blond turned walking out of the room and slamming the door behind her.

Regina's head popped up from the pillow, "What was that? Robin were you talking to someone?"

"No." Regina looked at him suspiciously. The loud bang of main door to the suite slammed shut, and Regina's eyes shot open. She threw the sheet off the bed and grabbed a robe.

"Oh my god, oh my god. Who the hell was that Robin? Robin?!"

"Your wife."

"Shit." Robin tried to pull her by the arm as she run out the room and then flung open the door to the suite. She looked back and forth down the hall seeing a flash of blond getting in to the elevator.

"Emma! Emma, wait please," she yelled, running to the elevator before the doors could. Regina slammed to a stop in front of the lift, her chest heaving. Her eyes locked on her wife. Emma was standing in the middle with her head down. "Emma please, it's not... just please stay and talk to me."

Emma lifted her head slowly to lock her eyes with her wife. Green eyes slamming in to brown. Regina felt her heart clench, one tear fell down Emma's cheek. She took a step toward the brunette, and brought a hand up to her cheek. Emma's face flinched like it was painful to touch her, and Regina leaned in to her hand, tears prickling her eyes. She let out a small whimper when Emma pulled her hand away and stepped back in to the elevator again, pushing the lobby button. Regina stood frozen, while the door closed and began to descend.

A voice came over a speaker on the train, "Thank you for traveling with Amtrak, the time now is 10:00 PM and we should be arriving in Boston at 12:30 AM. The dinner cabin is open, and there will be food and beverage carts coming down the aisles. Please enjoy your trip." Emma leaned over in her seat and, grabbed her duffel. She removed her cellphone from the front pocket. It was turned off, and she held it in her hand trying to decide whether turning it on to listen to the radio, and check baseball scores were worth the possibility of seeing her messages. There was 2 and a half hours left on this train, what was she gonna do? She couldn't just sit here she'd lose her mind. She should have listened to her wife, Regina always brought a book with her.

"No Swan, don't think about her now. We don't fall to pieces in public." She thought. She looked over the man sitting next to her. "Well," she thought, "Its either him or chance my phone. Lesser of two evils." And threw the phone back in to the back in to the bag.

"So?... What are you doing on a train to Boston at 10:00 on a Thursday night?" The man gave a light chuckle.

"Change your mind about talking to me?"

Emma flushed lightly, and held out her hand to guy, "Yeah sorry man, I'm..uh having a bad day. Emma Swan-Mi...Swan. How ya doing?" The man leaned over and shook her hand..

"It's alright love, Killian Jones. I'm actually on my way home, I live in Boston. I was in Albany for an art show, the college was showing some of my work."

Emma raised her eyebrows, "You're an artist?" She looked at Killian's outfit, he was still dressed up. He wore a long leather jacket and black pants, and he looked like he was eyeliner. "Yeah, I can see it? What kind of art do you do?"

"I'm a photographer, I just started to take off in to stardom." Killian said with a smirk. I doubt you would recognize my name."

"Probably not, but I probably wouldn't anyway. I like art well enough but I'm more athletes than artists, my wife might know."

"Wife? A lass who plays on my team than, I guess it wasn't a fight with your fella than." Killian said, and they shared a look of understanding. "Did you have a fight?"

"I'm not sure a fight is what I would call it."

"So are you running home, or running away?"

Emma furrowed her brow, "A little of both guess. I live in New York; my wife is working a case in Albany. She's a lawyer, she shouldn't home till at least tomorrow night but I didn't want to go home." Killian studied her face, looking a little confused.

"So why is Boston a little bit of home?"

"Because I grew up there, well kind of, I just moved to New York a few years ago. I work for the NYPD." Emma said with a smirk, has the man continued to stare at her. "What I don't look like a detective to you?"

Killian's face once again form a look of amusement, which was quickly noticing was his everyday expression, "I don't know about that, love. Like you said, I can see it." Emma gave a light laugh, her smile widening just long enough for the man beside her to see how beautiful she really was. He leaned in conspiratorially, "You know if we were straight we would make a lovely pair."

Emma's smile died in front of his eyes, her lips in a start line, unwanted images flashed in front of her eye, before she gave him a weak smile. "Yeah, I guess we would." Killian took in the expression on his new friends face. He was beginning to see the problem, and that it was problem something better left unsaid.

For the rest of the trip the two chatted back and forth about nothing, and everything. When the train speaker finally announced they were arriving in Boston it was after midnight. Emma was exhausted and her duffel bag felt twice a heavy as when she started. She followed Killian off the train and to the taxi line, but before she could duck inside a cab she felt him grab her arm.

Killian held a card in his hand, "If you want to hang out and talk while your town, or just see some good photography, give me a call love. She gave a brief smile, and took the card.

"See ya around Jones," she replied with a short smile and got in cab.

It was a short ride to the apartment, she was thankful the woman hadn't moved since she'd been gone. Easily finding the correct down she looked at her watch and hoped she wasn't going to have to wake her up. Three knocks, and about a minute later she heard shuffling behind the door before it swung open to reveal a tall brunette with a long curly locks. The woman stared confused for a moment, before the shock set in.

"Swan?"

Emma looked up her eyes finally starting to water. "Hello Jane, can I come in?

Chapter Text

Jane Rizzoli pulled two Sam Adams out of her refrigerator and set them on the counter while she looked for the bottle opener in the junk drawer, cursing herself for not getting twist offs. Finally snapping the caps off, she made her way in to the living room, setting one of the bottles in front of the blonde on her couch. The shock of seeing her longtime friend at her front door was beginning to wear off and replace itself with worry.

When she had opened her door tonight the last person she expected to see on the other side was Emma Swan. Beyond the fact it was after midnight, she hadn’t seen her in person for years. The life of workaholic homicide detectives tend be a little crazy. Jane hadn’t taken a day off in over two years. (She wasn’t counting the recovery time from the precinct shooting last year, that hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park.) So between the two women working at two different police departments, a few hours trip from Boston to New York might as well of been California. Of course it didn’t help that their personal lives had been do hectic lately.

Once she had let Emma in, the sullen blonde had walked straight to the couch and sat down without saying a word. After the emotion she showed at the door she had closed up her walls. So Jane grabbed a few beers and settled on the opposite end of the couch hoping to wait her out. Even if they weren’t nearly as close on a day to day basis there were few people in the world she knew better than Emma Swan, and if she tried to push her Emma would deflect and may never tell her what she actually came here for.

Jane studied the blonde’s face, the low lighting in the room cast shadows making the obvious circles under her eyes more apparent. Jane herself wasn’t exactly known for being patient, she was dying to know why the woman was here, and her brain had no problem coming up with hundreds of questions ready for the asking.

Emma’s eyes stayed glued to the screen in front of her, back slouched over with her elbows balanced on her knees. The TV was still on from when Jane had watched the game earlier in the evening, and ESPN was showing the highlights. The Red Sox had lost to the Yankees, and even after watching the game she wanted yell at the screen. Emma’s lack of communication was beginning to unnerve her, more used to the blonde rambling, and if Emma didn’t speak soon she was going to begin to question her state of mind.

Emma was usually great in a crisis, it’s one of many reasons she had been such a great partner when they were rookies. In all the years they’d known each other Emma had only shut down like this with her on three occasions, twice when discussing her childhood, and once the first time Hoyt had attacked Jane. Emma had just moved to New York three months prior, and when she found out she had blamed herself for leaving the BPD, leaving Jane to fend for herself against a maniac. It had taken months of calls back and forth before Jane could convince Emma she didn’t hate her for leaving and that she would have entered the house alone even if she could have called Emma for backup.

“Damn Yankees.” Emma’s voice pulled Jane out her thoughts.

Jane gave the slightest sigh of relief, cussing about baseball may not have been the most helpful tool to figuring out why Emma had appeared in her apartment but it sure made Jane feel better. Emma grabbed the remote flipping the volume to mute and leaned back against the couch cushion; the beer now in her hand although she hadn’t drank any of it. Emma picked at the label on the bottle slowly pulling it off in strips before they fluttered to the ground.

“You know if Ma was here she would make you vacuum that.” Jane replied dryly. Emma’s mouth moved into a smirk before her eyes finally connected with Jane’s for the first time since she had entered the room.

“Yeah well if Angela was here there is no way she would have let my ten-minute moment of silence happen either.”

Jane gave an eyebrow raise, nodding her head, “Ain’t that the truth, three years? She would have tackled you to the ground with love.”

Emma let out a laugh thinking about the older charismatic woman, before Jane continued. “In fact if she knew you were here she would have run over in PJ’s. So want to tell me why you’re showing up on my door step, unannounced for the first time in three years or do I need to call her over?”

Emma’s face dropped the small smile, and she took a long draw from her beer. Jane watched as Emma began tapping her wedding band on the side of the beer bottle. Starting to put the pieces together she looked down at the duffle bag on the floor. It was large enough to contain a few days’ worth of clothes, but not much else. Emma stared at the brunette, one of Jane’s best and worst qualities was her intuition and it wouldn’t be long until the detective came to a conclusion. As if reading her mind Jane snapped her head up, her eyes blazing, “What did she do?”

“How do you she’s the one who did anything?”

Jane shook her head. “You forget how well I know you Swan, you would hurt yourself before anyone else. Especially Regina.”

Emma shook her head feigning denial, “Maybe I’m not that person anymore, it has been awhile.” Jane moved over on the couch so she was seating right next to the other woman, her long brown hair creating a curtain as she leaned down.

“Emma, look at me. I don’t know what’s going on right now, I can guess, but I rather you tell me. I know you want to talk about it or you would have gone somewhere else. I can’t help you deal with it else you tell me.”

Emma nodded her and took a long slow breath, before trying to pull herself together. “Have you been following the trial for Senator Davis murder?”

“Yeah, I guess. The wife killed him right? Long standing accusation of abuse, she got tired of it and shot him? Can’t say I blame her.” Jane replied, trying to see where this was going.

“Yeah me either… Regina is the wife’s defense attorney. She’s been up in Albany presenting the case in court for the last week. I think she’s winning, but that’s not really surprise. ”

“No, she’s always been a great lawyer.” Jane was trying to let Emma get to the point herself but she felt it might be time to lead. She didn’t want the fragile blonde to feel like she was being interrogated. “Is she still there?”

Jane could see the sadness in her eyes when she looked at her and nodded. “Yeah, the defense rested today, closing arguments are tomorrow.” Her eyes became steely for a second, “Regina and the prosecutor have to go head to head.” She said with a snort.

“Emma, did you go see her?”

Emma gave a short nod. “Regina went up on Sunday, I supposed to go, be the supportive wife. We had a high profile case come up on Saturday, and I couldn’t get out of it.” Jane was looking at her with an understanding expression.

“My partner and I barreled through it, I don’t know if I even slept a few nights, but we got him this afternoon. Caught him with the murder weapon it was open and shut. According to Lucas I had been so depressed and irritable she would rather do all the paperwork herself than listen to whine about my missing wife anymore. I caught the next bus to Albany, then a taxi to the hotel. I didn’t stop to tell her I was coming.” Jane’s gut clinched she could tell where this was going, and she wanted to tell to stop it was okay, she knew. But Emma needed to get it out.

“I walked right in to the hotel so excited to see Regina, to go watch her work, tell her how proud I was. Instead I walked in on my wife asleep, naked on the bed, with the Robin Locksley, the prosecutor coming on of the bathroom in his underwear.” Emma was starting to shake her eyes filled the tears, she was barely keeping from falling. “I couldn’t even talk to her; she chased me trying to apologize. I just ran.” On the last words Emma finally broke tears falling in rivers down her face as she shook with sobs.

Jane quickly removed the bottle from her hands placing it on the table before she pulled Emma into an embrace. Her hand rubbed circles on the blondes back trying to sooth the woman. “Oh Emma, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, it’s okay.”

She held the woman for a longtime before the sobs settled and Emma slowing pulled away. Her hands wiped the tears from her faced in a shy manner. Jane knew she was embarrassed over the breakdown; Jane got up and walked into her bedroom looking for the blankets her mom brought over for surprise visits. She grabbed a pair of sweats and a t-shirt, then a pillow from her bed. When she got back she laid the blankets, pillow, and sleepwear on the end of the couch without a word.

“Try to get some sleep tonight.” Jane said with a soft sympathetic look. She grabbed the remote from the table and tossed it on the couch, “But if you can’t.”

“Thanks Jane.” Emma said. Jane gave her a light smile, starting to head to her room when she felt a tug on her hand. “I, um I’m sorry if I disrupted your night…I”

“Stop.” Jane interrupted. “You know I would anything for you, whatever the reason. You’re still family.” She leaned over and planted a smile kiss on the blonde’s forehead. Emma let her eyes slide shut, silent tears starting to fall again.

“Goodnight Emma.”

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep! Jane leaned over and smacked the alarm clock sitting on her bedside table, flashing 6:00 AM at her. She had originally set the alarm to go for a run before she had to be at work, but after a long sleepless night running didn’t seem like an enjoyable task.

Her sleep had been restless, thinking about the woman who was hopefully still asleep on her couch. Under any other circumstances she would be thrilled to have Emma for a visit but it was hard to be happy when she knew how miserable Emma was. She was having trouble believing Regina would do this to Swan, to their marriage.

It wasn’t like Regina and Jane were best friends, in fact they more tolerated each other than anything else. They were both professionals and very good at their jobs, both strong woman, but that was about the only things they had in common. Well that and they both loved Emma Swan.
Jane Rizzoli and Emma Swan met when they were 19 years old.

Their friendship had always been complex. Meeting the first day they entered the academy and being two of only five women in their class, they had bonded quickly over their shared love of food and the Red Sox. The bond had strengthened when some of the male cadets realized they were moving up the rankings at an alarming pace. Years before Jane would become the first woman in the homicide unit she had graduated at the top of her class at the academy, with Emma one slot below her after Jane had beat her in their last shooting exam.

The animosity from their colleagues hadn’t stopped when they were officially given their badges, hell depending on who you asked it hadn’t stopped now. It was one of the reasons Jane worked so hard to keep her private life private.

Jane had known about the blonde’s sexual preference since shortly after they met. One of the other cadets had made an off color come on to Swan, some typical comment about wanting fuck her, trying to get under her skin. Jane had been one fuse short of punching him into next week before Swan had walk over to the boy, with a smile to light up the room and stage whispered into his ear, “I’m sorry, I already own my own dick and I bet its fucked more women than yours.”

The boy’s face had gone bright red, everyone’s eyes wide with shock before the room exploded with laughter. Emma had walked back to Jane with a look of amusement, clearly masking her anxiety over her outing to her new friend. Needing to put her friends mind to rest Jane had just winked at her, and replied “Maybe you could give him some pointers.” Sending the room once again into hysterics. They had been partners for three months when their personal relationship had shifted.

 

Flashback- 8 years ago

It was 9 at night on a Friday, Jane and Emma had barely been on patrol for an hour. They were working their 3rd night shift in a row, like any green officer right out of the Academy they pulled the worst patrol shifts. After a ten minute argument Jane had made it into the driver’s seat.
The beeping of the radio sounded and then a call coming through for a domestic disturbance in a rundown neighborhood in South Boston. Emma quickly flipped the siren and Jane took off at a lighting pace. When they got to the house everything was quiet, but the front door was cracked open. They knocked and called from the porch before entering the house, gun pulled, clearing each room like they had learned in the academy. As they worked their way to the back of the small house they heard muffled sounds coming from behind a closed door. Jane lined up in front of the door and signaled for Emma to rush in when she pulled it open.

They burst in to find a man standing over a young teenage girl huddled in to the corner of the room, a belt in his hand as if he was getting ready to strike. Jane held her gun on the large man, running to make sure the child was okay. Before Jane could stop her Emma grabbed the man from behind throwing him up against the wall. The man pushed back off the wall sending Swan to her back on the floor. The grabbing the belt from where it had dropped to the floor he raised his hand to strike at Jane and the child.

Bang, Bang! Two shots rang through the air; the man took two steps forward before stumbling to the ground. Emma dropped her gun to her side. Her hands were shaking, the young girl was crying into Jane’s shoulder while she used her radio to call for back up and an ambulance.
After hours of being interviewed by their superiors, and giving statements the shooting was deemed unavoidable. Unable to go home and sleep after their first fatal shooting, the partners had wondered into bar down the street from the precinct. Beers turned into shots and shots turned into life stories. Jane told Emma all about her big Italian family, while Emma gave her a brief over view of her time in the foster system.

Over the course of the night, the two women had learned more about each than in their six month friendship. Jane’s heart broke over Emma’s story; she felt the need to protect her. Jane could relate to the lack of family, but she could relate to the isolation, of the feeling that no one understood her. When she had told her family about wanting to join the BPD her mother had done everything in her power to try and change her mind. She just couldn’t understand why her daughter would rather traipse around with a gun and catching criminals instead of marrying some guy and popping out 3 kids. Now here was this woman, this abrasive, smart, beautiful, woman. Who understood her better than anyone up to that point in her life ever had.

Later that morning they walked home together, Jane’s apartment coming up first on the trip. Emma grabbed Jane’s hand and held it for a moment.

“You’re a good friend Jane, and I’m glad you’re my partner.” Jane leaned towards Emma, her other hand placed on the blondes elbow.

“Thanks Swan, but I’m pretty sure you saved my life tonight.”

Emma smirked, “Maybe, but I wouldn’t have needed to if I hadn’t jumped the gun and thrown him against that wall. Besides something tells me if we stay partners you’ll save mine one day too.” Leaned up slightly to meet the taller woman, “I guess we do make a pretty good team. We might have to explore that a little more one day.” Jane’s mouth went dry at the realization the blonde was only inches from her she was afraid to move in either direction.

“I should probably go.” Emma said pulling back; she didn’t want to make Jane uncomfortable if she was reading the signs wrong. Jane’s grip for her elbow tightened slightly, their eyes connecting.

“Or you could stay?” Jane leaned down and their lips met, desire fueled with alcohol ignited and Jane pulled Emma in to her apartment.

 

Present-

 

“Jane? Jane? Rizzoli!”

“What?!” Jane opened her eyes to find Emma standing in her doorway, wearing Jane’s sweats and holding a coffee in her hand. “Hey Em.”

“Hey, I made you coffee.” Emma walked in hand the mug to the brunette, “I heard the alarm go off but you never came out, decide not to go to work today?”

Looking at the alarm clock she jumped out of her bed, “Shit, crap, I fell back asleep.” The clock now read 8:00, and she had to be at work in 30 minutes. Rushing around the room, Emma stood by her bed laughing.

“Its not funny Swan.”

“It is but feel free to use me as an excuse, I’m coming with you.” Jane stopped and looked at her.

“You have the day off don’t you want to just tool around the city, work some stuff out.” Emma looked down, scuffing her feet on the floor before meeting her eyes again.

“I just need to work for a bit, but I don’t want to go home. So thought maybe I could just tag along at office today.” Jane took in the hopeless expression on her face and caved.

“Fine, but you better be ready in five minutes cuz were late.”

Chapter Text

Albany- 8:30 AM

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Regina’s nails beat a cadence on top of the table, a cup of coffee delicately held in her other hand as she stared blankly at the open folder in front of her. In the folder lay a hand written copy of her closing argument. She had been revising it all week, as the trial proceeded, but the words that had come so effortless yesterday were now struggling to stay in her head. She reread the same paragraph for the fourth time before giving up and closing the folder, staring out the window of the hotel restaurant watching people pass by on their way to work.

To any passerby the beautiful brunette would have looked like your average high-class traveling business woman; sitting alone with her cold, serious exterior, milling over paperwork. But today Regina knew she was far from her average. Her hands fidgeted in front of her, her eyes partially hidden behind reading classes were red-rimmed, and her perfectly applied makeup lighter than normal from the tears that had fallen down her face multiple times since last night.

Regina placed the coffee cup on the table and reached for the cell phone lying next to her uneaten breakfast, a spinach and feta omelet. Pressing the icon on the bottom of the phone it came to life, before telling her she had no new text or voicemails. She sighed, then clicked on the text folder, and pulled up a blank message. After putting her wife’s name in the contact box, she watched the little bar flashing in the text space mocking her inability to formulate a sentence.

After the elevator doors closed last night separating Emma and herself she had stood in the hallway, her hands frozen clutching on the collar of her bathrobe. She didn’t know how long she was there before the elevator dinged again, and her whole body jolted in to action. It was Emma, it had to be Emma, she had come back to yell at her, to fight with her it didn’t matter as long as she had come back. She waited until the doors slid open taking a step forward to reach her wife when she noticed the lack of blonde hair. A young auburn haired woman dressed in a hotel uniform stood looking slightly startled by the visual of the brunette wearing nothing but her bathrobe. The woman was standing behind a room service cart, and gave a light cough.

Regina automatically took a step back, “Pardon me.” She said, as the woman past with a concerned yet pleasant smile. Regina turned to walk back to her room when she saw the woman had stopped in front of her door and was knocking.

“Excuse me. I believe you may have the wrong room.”

“Oh, um.” She looked quickly down to the receipt on the cart “It says room 901. Are you sure?”

Regina’s eyes narrowed, “I’m positive, I didn’t order anything. I…”

“I did.” A voice interrupted from the doorway, where Robin was now standing. “I’ll take it thank you.” Robin said with a wink, the woman blushed before nodding her head and walking quickly down the hallway. Robin stood in just his boxers a wry smile on his face, as he pulled the cart in to the room.

Regina just watched as he lifted the silver tops off the dishes, two steaks with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes sat with a bottle of red wine recently uncorked.

Robin grabbed one of the plates and a glass of wine before settling on the couch in the middle of the room, not noticing the brunette hadn’t moved more than two feet into the suite, and started eating. Regina walked slowly over to the cart looking over its offerings. Her face a mask of confusion she moved her eyes to Robin. He was draped over the couch, one foot propped over a knee to help balance his plate; the glass was wine sitting on the floor. He looked comfortable, like he had a right to be there.

All at once Regina’s faculties started to return in rapid succession. She had slept with Robin Woods her courtroom rival, her college ex. A man whose womanizing ways she had despised for years, who had been inappropriately flirting with her since her return to New York, and most importantly a man who was most decidedly not her wife.

Images of Emma’s face, her eyes wet with tears, floated to Regina’s mind and filled her with guilt infused rage and her eyes locked on to Woods. “What do you think you are doing?”

Robin’s eyes meet hers, “Well we did originally plan on eating dinner, so I figured I’d get on that. I’m a little hungry; we worked up quite the appetite.”

“Get out. Now.” Her voice was low and tight. When Robin didn’t move she walked closer to the couch her steely eyes locked with his.

Robin gave her a grin. “Oh come on Regina, don’t be like that. I was thinking we could go for round two after we eat. Maybe another bottle of wine.” Regina picked up the other glass and flung it in to the wall, the glass shards flying in every direction. Robin jumped up from the couch and started brushing his hands over his body looking for cuts. “What the hell is wrong you!”

Regina’s body vibrated with anger, hot tears in the corner of her eyes. “I'm not going ask you again. Leave, please.”

Robin heads to the bedroom silently, a few moments he returns wearing his suit from earlier in the day. Stopping in front of Regina he leaned in to her ear, “I’ll you see in the morning Regina. Best of luck.” and then swiftly exited the room.

Regina leaned against the wall and took in the room. The glass glittered on the floor, the bottle of whisky her and Robin had shared sitting next to her open briefcase on the table, and the doors leading in to the bedroom still wide open. She could the sheet twisted on the bed, with her clothes thrown to the side. In that moment she saw the room from Emma’s eye walking unnoticed only to be faced with her betrayal. Regina’s heart broke as she thought about her wife look of sadness and disgust as she left. “Oh god Emma, what have I done?”

Regina crossed the room and grabbing her phone. She needed to talk to her Emma, she needed to explain. She needed to convince her that she loved her, that she was sorry. She pressed one on her speed dial but, it went straight to voicemail. “Emma, it’s me please pick up. We need to talk please, I’m so sorry. I love you Em.”

She dialed over and over, each message more unbearable than the last. The hot tears running down her, getting caught in her throat making her already low voice raspy. When the voice mailbox stopped taking any new message Regina broke, her sobs shaking her body for hours. Unable to face the bed in the master room, she fell into tireless sleep in the guest room.

-
Regina flinched in shock when felt hand on her shoulder. She turned her head to find a woman from the front desk, with a too pleasant smile on her face for 8:30 in the morning. “Can I help you?”

“Sorry to bother you during breakfast, but your car is here to take you to the courthouse Ms. Mills. Would you like me to tell them you’ll be a few minutes?” Regina looked at the mostly untouched breakfast.

“No, I’m ready thank you and it’s Swan-Mills actually.” I hope, Regina thought to herself and gathered her belongings.

“Oh right of course, did your wife find you alright?”

“What?” Regina said, stopping her movements and making an effort to actually look at the woman for the first time. “When did you see my wife?” She looked at her name badge. In the mess of the previous evening she hadn't given much thought into how Emma had actually gotten in to her hotel room. The hotel had electronic locks, which meant she had been given a key, and by the look on this woman face she exactly where she had gotten it. She wasn’t naive enough to think this situation was this woman’s fault but she sure as hell didn't help.

Karen started to become nervous whatever was going on between the couple was obviously tense and she wanted no part in it. She started covering her tracks, “I saw her in the hallway, she wanted to know where she could find room 910.” Her guilt was apparent on her face.

Regina huffed picking up her bag, “Right, I’m sure that’s exactly what happened.”

She seethed and walked to her car. Sliding in to the back seat she rested her head lightly on head rest so she wouldn’t mess up her hair. Opening her purse she pulled out a piece of paper and clutched it tightly in her hand. She didn’t need to read it; the words had been burned in to her brain since she had first seen it two weeks ago. Fourteen days and she had completely torn apart her life. She would fix it; it’s what she did for a living. All she had to do was get through the trial, and then tonight she would go home to her wife. She would do anything to get Emma to talk her. One day then tonight she would fight for her marriage.

Chapter Text

BOSTON- 9:00 AM

“God I missed this place.”

Jane looked at Emma sitting in the passenger seat next to her, “What? They don’t have coffee shops in the Big Apple?”

Emma placed her coffee in the tray after taking a long draw, “Not Boston Joes, and defiantly not a Boston Joes bear claw.” Eating a fourth of the pastry in one bite.
Jane laughed at her, “Glad something never changes, come on Swan let’s not get crumbs all in the cruiser.”

“Since when did you become a neat freak?” Emma mumbled, with her mouth full, knocking the crumbs off her pants to the floor. The end of her blonde hair dipped in to the cream of the morning snack. “Ah crap.”

Jane held a small smile. “I’m not, but other people do occasionally ride in this car.” Another blonde’s face came to mind, although that one hasn’t exactly been around much lately threating to vacuum. Maura had been on leave for the last three weeks since the shooting and Internal Affairs investigation was shut down. Jane knew she was busy taking care of her mother at their home in the Hamptons, but that didn’t cover the complete radio silence. Jane had tried to call every day for the first week, and then the words from their arguments started to take hold and she had given up calling. The idea that Maura would think she just shot Doyle without cause and compared her to Maura’s murderer of a biological father stuck. Jane had always tried to protect Maura’s feeling when it came to Paddy, but he was a mobster and she was a detective. Once he had pulled his gun it was out of her hands.

“Want to talk about what’s bothering you?”

Jane pulled up in front of the precinct. “Not really, you ready to talk yet?” Emma’s face went slack, before she started fidgeting with the coffee tray. Jane lifted the tray out of her lap and gave her a sympathetic smile.

“Come on Em let’s go, I’m late enough.”

“Nice of you to show up Rizzoli.” Korsak and Frost were both at their desks, when Jane strutted in to the bull pin.

“Yeah, Yeah I’m late but I brought gifts.” She, said holding the tray up. Frost jumped out of his chair to grab his coffee.

“I’ll take this, and you’re forgiven.”

“Thanks I was so worried.” Jane said with her normal sarcasm, handing a coffee to Korsak.

“No pastries?” He said.

“You don’t need another pastry.” Frost piped in.

“Oh come on give the big guy a break, everybody likes a bear claw.” Emma said coming through the door. Korsak whipped around in his chair, a surprised smile plastered on his face when he saw the tall blonde walking towards him.

“Emma Swan, what the, why are you here?”

She gave a good natured laugh, “Good to see you too Korsak.” She dropped the bag of pastries on his desk, giving a smack on the back.

Jane gave an amused chuckle, “Apparently it’s bring a friend to work, I see neither of yours made it.” She turned to Frost. “Frost this is Detective Emma Swan, a good friend of mine and my first partner. Swan, this Detective Barry Frost your replacement.”

Emma reached out to shake his hand, “I think Korsak was actually my replacement but it’s great to meet ya. Jane’s said only good things.”

“She’s lying.” Korsak said, in between bites.

Frost looked the Emma up and down once, she was an attractive woman. Blonde with loose curls giving off a feminine vibe under her button up and slacks, but a strong hand shake and serious eyes telling him he shouldn’t under estimate her. Yeah, he could see her being friends with Jane. He gave a bright smile to his partner, “This was your first partner? How’d you get downgraded to Korsak?”

“Laugh it up chuckles.” Korsak glared, and the two women laughed.

“Emma worked vice when she was still here; I got put in Homicide about six months before she moved.” Jane explained.

“Well we couldn’t all be the first female detective to make homicide at BPD.” Emma nudged her. “I do work in Homicide now though.”

“When did you transfer?” Frost questioned.

“I transferred to the NYPD a little over four years ago.”

“Oh yeah? Got family down there?”

Emma gazed dropped quickly to her hand, her thumb grazing the band on her ring finger. The other detectives caught the action. Korsak looked at Jane and she shook him off before he could ask any questions. He knew Emma was married; he’d met her wife on a few occasions back when she was a prosecutor in the DA’s office, but then they were just girlfriends then.

“NYPD, I’m shocked they still let you in the building.” He said guiding the conversation back.

Emma gave a small grateful smile, “Yeah, well thankfully I still wear my Sox jersey on game days, it curries good will.”

A balding older man walked through the bull pen stopping in front of the team, “There’s been a murder in Beacon Hill, the press is gonna be all over it. Let’s go people ….. And Detective Swan? I wasn’t aware you were here.”

“Good morning Lieutenant Cavanagh, it’s good to see you sir.”

Cavanagh raises an eye brow, “It’s nice to see you too Detective. Are you here for a case?” He studied her face, and glanced at his other detectives in the room.
Emma shook her head and held an easy smile, “No sir, just here to visit. I… got a day off.”

His face eased in to a soft stare, “And you decided it would be a nice to visit another police station? Okay. Well feel free to accompany the team. We’ll take the help on this one. Get a move on. ”

Emma watched Cavanagh walk back to his office, when he reached the door he glanced back in her direction one last time before exiting the room. Interesting, she thought. She had gotten along with the Lieutenant the admittedly few times they had met, and while she had never worked under him directly he seemed a little too interested in the fact she was here. Well I guess any good Lou would wonder why an out of state cop was in there squad room, she decided shaking it off. Jane grabbed her by the arm to follow her and she jumped in the car to the crime scene.

Even with the flashing lights it was a 15 min ride to the hill, Emma and Jane in one car with the boys following. The radio was on from earlier in the morning playing some horrible new pop song. Emma reached down and started flipping through the programed stations when news show caught her ear she stilled her hand on the dial.

“…The Zelena Greene trial will come to a conclusion today as attorneys give closing arguments. Zelena Greene, who is accused of murdering husband Senator Walsh Greene and pled self-defense, is represented by Regina Mills lead consul of Gold, Mills & Associates. Throughout the trial Mrs. Mills has given brilliant…”

Emma flipped off the radio, filling the car with silence.

The Italian waited five minutes before confronting the elephant in the room, “What’s up Swan?”

“Did Cavanagh say who the Vic is?” Emma replied, her hand never turning form the window.

Jane glanced over Emma, the twitch of her lips letting Emma know she had recognized the deflection tactic. “You heard as much as I did, we’ll find out when we get there?... So what we’re just going to pretend that reaction to Regina’s name didn’t happen? Emma I’m the last person to fault you for not talking.”

“Then don’t.” Emma snapped. Jane’s eye’s narrowed and the blondes expression softened, “I’m sorry Jay, I just, I know I have to decide how I want to handle this. But I don’t know yet, and She is in court today which she would never miss for personal reasons. I get a approximately eight hours to pretend my life didn’t just blow up in my face.”

The brunette’s irritation lessened, “Okay Em, eight hours and then were talking over burgers at the Dirty Robber… or I’m telling Ma.”

Emma gave a snort, and then a few slow nods.

You could always tell when you reached Beacon Hill the houses tended to grow and, the cars went from American made to European. It was obvious when they reached the address of the crime scene, beyond the typical yellow tape and police cars flashing lights, there was a row of news vans sitting just out front. A barricade had been set up in addition to the uniforms placed in the front yard. Jane and Emma pulled up behind the boy’s car added to chaos.

-

The detectives walked around to the back yard of the estate; uniforms, and CSU techs were covered the large outdoor patio. A man’s body lay by the pool. It was the beginning of October, and the man was dressed in slacks with a light linen short sleeved shirt as though he were taking advantage of one of the last warm nights of the year. His body was half on a lounge chair; a martini was left on the small table between two lounge chairs. There was a small puddle of blood gather under the end of the chair but Emma was unable to see the wounds because a tall man in a white lab coat was crouched in front of the body hiding its face.

Jane’s body seemed to straighten the closer she got to the body, pulling on blue latex gloves. “Good morning Dr. Pike.”

The man turn and gave a flirtatious smile towards Jane, “Good Morning Detectives, It’s a beautiful morning isn’t it?”

“Yeah, minus the possible homicide,” Frost added under his breath.

Korsak cover a laugh with a cough, “What do we have doctor?”

Dr. Pike gave a surly look at the older detective, “As you can the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head, looks like a sniper.”

“You’re sure?” Jane responded.

“Of course, Detective,” he said looking offended. “I’m not your wishy washy Dr. Isles. I know a fatal gunshot wound when I see one. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to have the body moved back to the lab, so I can start the autopsy.” He said before getting up and walking over to the crime techs to coordinate the transfer.
Emma looked at Jane, “You make a habit of pissing off ME’s cuz I gotta say that never helps back home.”

Jane gets a distant look on her face momentarily, “Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. Frost, you managed to figure out who the hell this guy is yet?”

“Actually I have, meet Phillip Lake, investigative journalist for the Boston Globe.” He read from the notes on his phone.

“Well that explains the extra press outside; Lake’s famous for his exposés, everyone is going to be watching this one.” Jane leaned over the body and studied the injury, “Not that I like to agree with Pike, but this looks a possible sniper to me. No close contact wound, he doesn’t look like he even knew what was happening, and the back yard opens up to trees. It wouldn’t even be a hard shot.”

Korsak nodded his head with Jane’s description, “Shit, alright Frost send CSU through the house but, I don’t think they’ll find much, get the guys computer back to the precinct run all those programs you like. We need to find out what he was working on.”

“On it,” Frost said and disappeared to the house.

“Okay let’s go to talk to his editor, maybe he can tell us what he’s been up to or which stories got the most backlash. Swan do you think you could go back to HQ with Frost, there’s going to be a lot of research on this guy to sift through. Maybe get a look at his past stories for us?”

Emma looked a little shocked to be given an actual assignment, “Feels like I never left.” She said, and then looked over a Jane, “Hope you don’t mind me stealing your desk.”

“Not today, here take my car back.” Jane took her key ring out of her jacket pocket and tossed it to the blonde making eye contact when Emma caught them in one hand. “And Em, don’t right the lights. This isn’t your jurisdiction remember?” She said with a small smirk.

“Yeah, Yeah.”

-

By the time Emma made it back to the precinct she was starving, her one bear claw from that morning was no longer holding against her lack of dinner from the previous night. The café connected to BPD didn’t have the best food, or service, when she worked there but it would do in a pinch. She walked in to the café and waited in line behind a few older uniforms, who frankly looked like they would chase down a doughnut before a perp, and stared at the menu board above the counter.

When she noticed the line move she took a step to the register uttering, “I think I’ll have a bacon cheese burger.” Before a little gasp caught her attention and she looked down at the woman behind the counter.

“Emma Marie Swan, what in God’s name are you doing here?” Just like that she had been caught by Jane’s mother, Angela Rizzoli. Angela had been the first stable maternal figure in her life, when she had first started dating Jane she was shocked at the warm welcome she had received from the Rizzoli clan, especially the Catholic Italian mother. When they decided to break up, she had been as upset about the possibility of losing the Rizzoli’s has a whole, as she was about losing Jane. Even though it was mutual and she and Jane remained friends, she knew from being thrown out of multiple foster homes the real kid always kept the family. She had skipped two months of family dinner before Angela had appeared at her apartment on a Sunday afternoon with a dish of lasagna in hand and four Rizzoli’s trailing behind each carry a plate in to her living room.

Angela drug her in to the apartment’s small kitchen to heat the lasagna and told her she was going to teach her out to make meatballs for the side, because if she needed to find partners for both her daughters they needed more marketable skills than shooting guns. The look of complete acceptance she received from that woman felt like a balm starting to heal her orphan heart. She never got much better at cooking but, hadn’t missed a single family dinner until she moved after that.

The night she introduced Regina to the Mama Rizzoli she was as nervous as any other child introducing a girlfriend for the first time. Regina thought she had made a horrible first impression on the rest of the family; she had a habit of reverting to her overly proper upbringing when she was nervous. She had been convinced to dress down which meant a pair of nice slacks, and a maroon button up shirt. In the first ten minutes of the evening the lawyer had accidently managed to not only make a joke about the Red Sox World Series losing streak, but admitted to being a Yankees fan. The brunette had been one minute short of running out the back door before Angela had asked for help finishing dinner, and she run to the kitchen instead. Regina had stayed in that kitchen until it was time to eat and when the ladies emerged carrying baking dishes a genuine smile was lighting up her face.

At the end of the night Angela had hugged both girls, looked directly into the blonde’s eyes, and said, “You should keep this one she can cook, and you need all the help you can get.” Regina burst out laughing having overheard the conversation, and the older woman gave her a wink before sending them on their way. Emma had never gotten a full story of what happen in that kitchen but she knew how much it meant to have Ma accept Regina in to the family that day. That’s why the last person she wanted to see was Angela, because while Jane would let her hide, no once hid from Ma.

Emma was snapped out of her thoughts by the feel of hands wrapped around her shoulders. Light brown eyes with creases at the corners were barreling into hers.
“Are you going to answer me or are you just going to stand there girl?”

Emma gave up an innocent smile, “Hey Ma, can I have a cheeseburger?”

-

Albany-

“At this time the jury will go in to deliberations, court is at recess till they have reached a verdict.” The judge banged his gavel releasing the court room. The room emptied quickly its inhabitants looking for the nearest lunch spot, not wanting to travel far in case court got called back. Regina took her time gathering the papers on the table into her briefcase, the case was over whatever happened now was out of her hands. She hated sentencing, for a control freak like herself the idea of twelve people having to come to one conclusion always made her feel a little uneasy, even if she rarely lost. If the lawyer had done her job the jury would have a quick turn around and she would be gone before midday. All she had to do was grab her things at the hotel and jump on the train back home, she could be back in New York City by dinner.

Regina allowed herself a rare moment of vulnerability in the empty courtroom, leaning back in her chair and running a hand through her shoulder length brown hair. With the case at an end any hope of keeping her emotions at bay was quickly dwindling. Her heart felt like it was too heavy for her chest. When she walked in to the court this morning Robin had been waiting by the door, his stupid brazen smirk plastered across his face was enough to make her want to smack him. He was in the process of wishing her luck when she silenced him with a deathly glare, but her hate for him was no worse than the hate she had for herself.

She had betrayed her wife, the one person whose heart she was supposed to protect.

She just wished Emma would answer her calls, or her messages, every minute that went by without hearing from her wife made her feel like Emma was slipping farther away. Her blonde was one of the strongest people she knew, it was one of the things that had drew her to Emma when they met, her ability to protect anyone or thing she cared about. But Emma was runner when it came to herself. The idea that Regina had been the one to make Emma run was tearing her apart.
Regina felt a hand grip her shoulder lightly and flinched, her hand wiped pher watery eyes, before she turned to see who had disturbed her. Zelena Greene her client was standing directly behind her chair, her long strawberry hair swept over one shoulder, she leaned next to the brunette before giving her a quizzical look.

“Sorry, to interrupt Mrs. Mills but aren’t I the one on trial for murder. Why are you crying?”

Regina stood abruptly and straightened her suit, falling back in to her professional façade. “Ms. Greene, I apologize. You seem to caught in the middle of having a moment.” The lawyer glanced at phone on lying in the open briefcase.

“Relationship troubles?”

“Everything is fine, nothing for you to be worry about. You didn’t want to grab lunch with your family.”

“I didn’t want to try leaving the court house the press is out in droves today. Besides Regina, after everything you heard about me I would love if I could help you for a change. Let’s sit.”

Regina gave an embarrassed smile and slid back in to her seat, Zelena following resuming her seat from the trial. They had met a few times over the years before Zelena’s need for representation, and while they were never friends they were friendly. They had similar backgrounds, bred for greatness through private schools to Ivys, and while Regina hadn’t personally known her, before becoming her lawyer, she felt for her. If it wasn’t for the fact Regina had fallen in love with a Boston cop she could have been her, married to man just as powerful as she was, threatened by her achievements and wanting to make sure make sure she knew her place.

Zelena looked at her with knowing eyes, “So is this look because of your pretty blonde wife? I noticed your lack of mascara today.”

Regina nodded her head slightly, decide how much of her sins she wanted to confess, “We’re fighting, no I actually that’s not true. We… I.. I hurt her, and I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know if she’ll let me try to fix it or if it can be.”

“Have you asked her?”

“I haven’t been able to talk to her; she’s not answering her phone. I guess I can’t blame her for that.”

Zelena never moved her gaze from the brunette’s face, in another life they could have been good friends. “Then you have to go get her, now.”

Regina gave choking laugh, “We’re a little busy right now I believe.” Her hands waving around the room.

Zelena laughed, “With what? I have faith in you, as my lawyer you have worked miracles in this room. But you cant do anything more, I’ll be charged or I wont, either way there is nothing you can do that a halfway decent second chair can’t.”

“But”

“No,” Zelena interrupted, “I’ll be fine, and when I get back to the city we’ll have a real lunch. Now go.”

Regina stared at the woman in shock, before standing and picking up her bag. “Thank you, Zelena.” She said, quickly walked out of the room before changing her mind.

Zelena sat at the table for a few seconds just staring at the door closing behind her, a small smirk on her face. “ No Regina, thank you.”

Chapter Text

BPD Café- 12:30 PM

Emma sat patiently at the counter watching Angela grab her food and simultaneously make a smoothie for the cop who had been in line behind her. Now that Emma had accepted her fate of being hugged and interrogated she could admit to how wonderful it was to see her best friend’s mother. A plate loaded with a cheeseburger and a side of less wanted celery sticks appeared in front of her.

Emma gave a confused expression and looked in to Angela’s stern face, “Ma, I am pretty sure that this was supposed to come with French fries.” Angela’s eyes just widen as she continued to stare her down. “Or you know this looks good, I’m sure I need the veggies.”

The older woman’s face broke out in to a smile, and she rounded the counter pulling the young blonde into a fierce hug. “Oh I am so happy to see you Emma, it’s been so long.” Emma let the woman squeeze the life out of her for a few more moments before she started to become overwhelmed.

“Angela, I can’t breathe.”

Angela let go of the blonde with a pointed amused look. “Give me a few minutes and I’ll tell the boss I’m going on break.”

She disappeared behind the swing door and came out shortly after, a gravelly voice following her from the backroom, “30 Minutes Rizzoli!” She took the stool next to Emma at the end of the counter, in the time she had walked to and from the kitchen the blonde detective had eaten half her burger and a few of the celery sticks. They could say what they wanted but Mama Rizzoli always made sure her family was taken care of, including her wayward adopted children. Although one was usually much easier to look after than the other.

“So not that I’m not thrilled to see my girl, but I doubt you came all the way to Boston to visit little ole me, so why the drop in? You and the missus here for vacation or something?” Her head popped up looking around the cafe, like she was expecting the Latina to be standing there. “Where’s Regina?”

Just like that Emma was thrown right in to the frying pan, “You always like to jump to the point don’t ya? Regina is” The blonde hesitates briefly realizing she is about to lie to someone who is basically her mother, before jumping back on her train of thought. “has a case at trial. She had to go to Albany, and I was being forced to take a few of my vacation days. So here I am. I missed you guys.” Some sincerity leaking back into her voice at the end.

“And you decided to spend the day at BPD, of course. You and Janie even when you’re not working, you're working. Well you will have to come over for family dinner on Sunday. Of course, it’s not at the house anymore. You’ll get the address from Jane.”

“I’m sorry about what happened with Mr. R. I wanted to call but it seemed more like an in person conversation and I just hadn't had the chance to come up till now.”

The older woman got a small sad smile on her face, “Everything is okay, now I have to get back to work and I assume you need to find Jane.” She leaned over bussing Emma on the forehead and began to walk back behind the counter. “Don’t forget about Sunday dinner. Oh, and give Regina my love when you talk to her.”

The blonde looked down at the celery stick in her hand, “Right.” She sighed softly, and let the snack fall back to her plate.

Albany- 1:00 PM

Regina planned on her trip back to the hotel to claim her luggage being quick and efficient. She would run in grab her things and head directly to the train station. She had already scheduled herself for automatic checkout on Saturday morning so there was no reason to inform the front desk of her early departure. It was when she opened the door to the suite that the lawyer realized this wasn’t going to go as smoothly as she planned.

In her rush to get ready this morning and out of this space, the brunette had barely taken in her surroundings. Now she was affronted with the mess her suite was, the alcohol on the table, the glass she had never managed to clean up the night before with its now dry but sticky spot on the hardwood floor, and the double doors to the master bedroom closed tightly. She had been too upset to go back into that room the pervious the night, and luckily her suit was in a hang up bag in the front closet so she used the guest room and shower this morning.

Now as she turned the handles of the doors apart and pushed the doors open, a small gasp left her throat. The sheets on the bed were still twisted from when she had pulled them down with her while running after Emma. A small pile of clothes containing her skirt and blouse she wore yesterday to court was crumbled at the foot of the bed. Regina moved quickly around the room grabbing her suitcase from the corner, and laying it open on the desk beside the dresser. Regina was normally a careful packer every article of clothing perfectly folding and placed in her suitcase, but this time she gracelessly threw the items in. Her thoughts on just leaving as soon as possible, she pulled the luggage into the living room and turned back to take one last look at the room.

Her eyes traveled over every inch of the space before settling on the small pile of clothes still on the floor. The blouse was one of her favorites, a forest green silk V-neck, that was tailored to her body. Emma had bought it for her last Christmas when she had refused to wear a hideous sweater to the blonde’s police department’s Ugly Sweater Christmas party. She had worn it yesterday for luck, and now she couldn’t stand to look at it. Now it just lay soiled, and she knew no matter how many times she washed it she could never wear it again. Regina took a final glance around the suite before exiting. Leaving a thank you note, with a fifty dollar tip for the maid, and her green shirt still on the floor.

Upon arriving at the train station Regina bought a ticket back to New York and settled in the waiting room, her train wasn’t leaving until 3. Not as early as she would like, but it would still get her home before Emma normally got in at 6. The brunette pulled her phone from her pocket; she had been avoiding looking at it since she left the court house. She didn’t want to be distracted by work, and she knew Emma wouldn’t call. Even if she wasn’t angry with her wife, she would never call while she was in court. Regina felt like she had been up for hours or maybe she had never really gone to bed. All day her mind had tried to remain focused on the next task, (get dressed, go to court, closing statement, pack, and run to the train) this was the first time she had to just sit and think. The problem was that she didn’t want to think; it was overthinking and then avoiding thinking that got her in to this mess in the first place.

The lawyer replayed every moment of the last week in her head. From getting the call from her doctor last Friday, Emma not being able to accompany her to Albany, and then the case which had been more taxing than originally thought. She couldn’t believe Emma had reworked her schedule to come be with her, well that wasn’t true, she never took time off for herself, but would always take it if Regina needed her. But Regina hadn’t wanted to ask, she finally feeling fully back on her feet and she didn’t want to look clingy. And then Robin had shown up.

He wasn’t even supposed to be lead opposing consul, but with national attention on the trial the New York District Attorney’s Office wanted a more popular lawyer in the seat. Regina was still seething from seeing him on the way out of the courthouse. He had stopped her thinking she was going to lunch and had the audacity to ask if he could join, even now she felt the need to scream.

The large screen in front of her shown the list of trains coming in and out of the station, and Regina reflected on all the people moving around the building. Each one traveling to or from home, and she wondered how many were going to meet their loved ones, the list of cities represented stretched around the continental US. Suddenly Regina froze, her eyes scanning the list up and down numerous times before the hand around her phone clutched tightly. What if Emma hadn’t gone home?
Her mind began to reel at the possibility. She had just assumed that when Emma left she had gone back to the city, back to work, and their home. Now she realized Emma could have gone anywhere. Regina was starting to panic, Emma wasn’t at work today. She couldn’t be if she was supposed to be here with her, and the blonde would not have wanted to go back and explain why she wasn’t with her wife.

The phone in her hand pinched against her skin, she was holding it so strongly, and it brought her back to reality. She quickly called their house number, and after a few rings reached the voicemail. Hanging up before the message beeped she opened a home security app on her phone.

When they had first moved in to the townhouse Regina had insisted the standard locks and alarm system were adequate, but after Jane’s incident with Hoyt, shortly after they arrived, Emma’s response had been to install a home security system to rival Fort Knox. It included an app link to your phone, which had the ability to record a time stamp when someone entered or exited the house. The lawyer had never really used the information herself, mostly agreeing to the project because it made Emma feel safe, and more importantly made her feel like the Regina would be safe if she wasn’t home at night.

Regina logged in to the system, and checked the record logs, her heart dropping to her stomach. The last entry was yesterday at 3:06 PM, before Emma had left for Albany. Emma had never gone home.

Regina continued to stare hopelessly at the phone in her hand. She didn’t know what to do, hypothetically the next move would be to call a close friend and hope Emma had contacted them as well. The problem was they didn’t have many friends, especially common ones. It wasn’t that they were unfriendly people in general, but they both worked a lot and when they had the opportunity to go out they normally choose to focus on each other. In fact there were only two options of where Emma might go. Picking the lesser of two evils she pulled up her contact list and clicked on Ruby Lucas.

Detective Ruby Lucas had been Emma’s partner for the last two years since transferring to homicide. Regina had initially been jealous of the pretty, tall, dark haired detective. She was after all Emma’s type. Even though Emma had thoroughly reassured her, it wasn’t until she met Belle, Ruby’s very pretty, long term, adorably in love wife that she completely let the matter go. Now they were all the best of friends, Regina and Belle the counterparts to their cop wives.

The phone rang three times before a voice equal part flirtatious and sarcastic fluttered through phone. “Hey lawyer woman, shouldn’t you be in court right about now?”

Regina let out small breath, Ruby didn’t sound upset with her, “Hello, Ruby how are you? I am actually on break at the moment, we are awaiting the verdict.”

“Aw, and you decided to call me that’s sweet.” There was no edge to her voice and Regina was sure if Emma had filled her in on the situation this wasn’t the friendly tone she would be getting. “So what can I do for you? Ready to send Swan home, is she driving you crazy hovering while you work?”

That sealed it, “No of course not, I just… I wanted to ask Belle what the name of book we were reading for book club was. I forgot and, Emma was going to pick me up a copy. You know how bored she gets in court.” Her was voice tight.

“Oh, well you might be better off calling Belle then. I’m still at work, not all of us got the day off to hang out and watch their wife’s work.”

“Of course, I’ll text her. Thank you Ruby.”

“Yeah, bye Regina. See you ladies next week, have good time for all of us.”

Regina’s voice was shaking as she tried to give a light laugh, “Yeah, it’s great. Talk to you soon.” She hung up the phone and brought her hand to her face running her fingers through her hair. She sat silently for a few moments, as she realized this may have gotten much harder than it already was, then walked over to the ticket window.

“Excuse me sir, I need to switch my ticket. I need to change the location Boston.”

BPD- 3:00 PM

Two and a half hours, that’s how long she had been reading any and every article that Phillip Lake had written or, was mentioned in. So far all Emma had learned was Lake was a dedicated journalist, who had no qualms about digging in to dangerous territory if it meant breaking a story. Without any other information to go on, she had found at least ten people that could want revenge on the journalist and the list was growing. The detective leaned back in her desk chair; well technically speaking it was Jane’s desk, looking over the list of names she had constructed. Almost every person on the list she had heard of, some were business leaders, politicians, drug dealers. Lake messed with the lives of some pretty heavy hitters over the years.

She threw the list on the desk, and sat with her head on top of her hand, eyes closed. It was three, Jane and Korsak still weren’t back from talking to Lake’s editor and without access to most of the BPD mainframe Emma was running out of ways to distract herself from the inevitable. Emma wanted nothing more than to talk to her wife, for the last six years every time something was wrong in her life she had talked to Regina. Now Regina was the thing that went wrong. The idea that her wife would betray her in such a fundamental way didn’t make sense to Emma. A far as she knew they had been happy, and if she didn’t understand why she couldn’t get over it. Which brought her to her other issue, she didn’t know if she wanted to get over it.

Suddenly she heard the familiar cadence of high heels on the hard linoleum floor, getting louder. As quickly as the sound started, it came to a halt. Emma could feel the presence of someone standing close to the desk in front of her, and her palms began to feel clammy. She had a sinking feeling in her stomach and opened her eyes expecting to find chocolate brown staring back at her.

-

“Welcome Back Dr. Isles.”

Doctor Maura Isles gave a small smile, and nod to the guard at the front desk of Boston Police Department Headquarters, and then quickly walked to the elevators. She hadn’t been back to the precinct since her biological father, and mobster, Paddy Doyle had been shot. Out on temporary leave she had spent the last few weeks in the Hamptons helping her mother’s recovery from the car accident meant for her. It was the longest amount of time she had spent with her mother for as long as she could remember. While she would never wish for Constance to be hurt, she was a doctor after all, she couldn’t deny how lovely it felt to be able to finally connect with her mom after an almost entire childhood feeling alone.

As happy as she had been with her family the trip had been an emotional roller-coaster personally, being with her mom, reconnecting with her adoptive family only made her think about her new one. Maura didn’t have many friends; if she was honest she never really had any real friends. Most people thought she was weird, her “Google speak” freaked people out. Even her past romantic relationships had been stunted because of her inability to keep her mouth shut. At least until she met Jane Rizzoli.

The detective had been dressed as a hooker for a case, and basically told to go to hell when she tried to convince her to by milk instead on the coffee she was in the process of ordering. In Maura’s defense she had been order the assumption she needed for vitamin D because of her night work. After they realized each other’s true professions, their friendship bloomed overnight. The doctor had never had a friend like Jane. The first time Jane had shown up in the autopsy room at the end of the day when they didn’t have a homicide to work she had stared at her for a solid minute. Jane ranted about how slow work was, and that they needed drink, when Jane finally met her eyes with a questioning look it occurred to Maura that Jane was asking to hang out. Even years later she does not think Jane knows how much that invitation meant to her. Everything they had been through the last couple of years made Jane’s presence in her life indispensable, that’s why it was worse Jane had been the one to shoot Paddy than if anyone else had done it.

The first few days she had been so angry she wanted nothing to do with Jane. She couldn’t stand the idea Jane had told Agent Dean about her connection to Paddy Doyle, that she would betray her trust. She didn’t think it had been necessary to shoot him, but when he said out loud in the hospital he would have shot Frost, or Jane, she didn’t know what to think. She had run to the Hampton’s.

Maura was used to understanding almost anything; she counted on her logical reasoning. It was one of the reasons she was such a good pathologist, but for the first time her emotions were wreaking havoc in her head, and with her heart. After a few days on the beach her mother had gotten tired of her mood swings. It may have been a little awkward to have your first mother/daughter talk at the age of 31 but Constance seemed to be really trying to make up for lost time. The classy older woman worked one over on her daughter who always took a question at face value, talking about her work and BPD, then about living with Angela, until there was no other option but to discuss Jane.

They were seated on the back patio of the house looking over the beach, and Constance had finally gotten around to asking the question that Maura hadn’t been able to answer. Was their relationship, their friendship over?

“Mother I don’t know if we can ever be friends again, she betrayed a confidence. She shot Paddy. I know he’s not my father, and that he’s a monster but he wouldn’t have hurt me. Even if he was dangerous, I don’t know how this doesn’t change us.”

“Darling, it won’t if you don’t let it. Do you want your connection to end? Do you feel like your life will be better without Jane in it?”

Maura’s heart broke a little at the question, the idea that that Jane and her relationship could even have an end. Maura had felt a connection to the fiery Italian from the beginning, and every time Jane had reached out to her another link had bound them. “Change is inevitable Mother it’s the way of life.”

“Oh my little genius,” Constance gently lifted her daughter’s hand, “Change may the inevitable but that doesn’t make it bad. Look at us.” Maura serious face was replaced with a small but happy smile. “I’m sorry, that my fears over motherhood made our relationship so stunted. I should have known that all the things your father and I tried to give you weren’t what you needed, or wanted.”

Maura turned her eyes on her mom, “You gave me everything I ever asked for mother.”

“Yes, accepted for ourselves. Do you know who made me realize how much I was missing, Jane.”

“What?”

“Your best friend has no problem telling her opinion does she?” Maura shook her head, filled with images of all the different times she had seen Jane run off at the mouth.

“At my art opening.” Constance continued before Maura could ask. “She cornered me when you went to fetch drinks, told me how I was punishing myself for being to busy when you were young, and punishing you for being too busy now. She was right, and she had no problem telling me. I must say it was rather refreshing.”

The younger woman gave a chuckle, “Yes, refreshing is certainly one way to put it.” And the women both laughed for moment.

“That woman would never do anything to hurt intentionally, she loves you.”

Before she could stop herself Maura responded, “She wasn’t concerned about loving me when she betrayed me to Gabriel.” His name sounded like a cuss on her tongue. Her mother’s hand pulled drawing her attention.

“So I was right then?” The older woman’s grin pulled in sly, Cheshire fashion.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“This isn’t about the shooting, or at least just about the shooting. How long Maura?"

Maura could feel subconscious dancing inside her as though it was excited over finally being able to share something important with her. While her brain was begging her avoid this line of questions, no good could come from it. Jane was her friend, her good friend nothing more. "Whatever do you mean mother?" Her eyes downcast, her breath caught in her throat.

"How long have you been in love with Jane?”

Maura’s eyes filled with tears, and for the first time her mother embraced her daughter as she cried. The young woman had known on a base level her feelings for the detective for years. They had started innocently enough, a true friendship, then began to grow at a pace so slowly she hadn't noticed until it was to late.

Maura's mom had spent most of the next week trying to convince daughter to go home, and talk to the woman she loved but she wasn't ready yet. Maura was still mad over Gabriel even if half the reasons she didn't have a right to, mostly she was just scared. Jane had never said she had romantic feelings toward her, or women in general not that the Italian had the best luck with men either.

Now that the truth was so prevalent in her mind it was unavoidable. Every interaction the two had ever had played through her head on repeat, picked apart and analyzed looking for some trace that her feelings could be returned. Three weeks since she had seen Jane, she was still no closer to knowing where their relationship went from here, but she had every intention of finding out.

Maura walked off the 3rd floor elevator, and took slow determined steps toward the bull pin. She wasn't sure what she was going to say when she saw Jane, they hadn't exactly left off the best of terms. The bull pen was unusually quiet and her heels echoed on tile, looking around she stopped her Jane's desk but instead of her detective a beautiful blond sat there. Her stride hesitated as she came to a stop by the desk; this woman was sitting in Jane’s chair, with papers spread across the desk like she had been taking up space for a while. An over whelming desire to yank the woman out of the desk settled over the honey blonde, and she tried to shake it off while waiting for the unwelcome woman to take notice of her.

Maura got herself under control and when she moved to tap one shoulder suddenly the blondes bright green eyes opened in surprise and connected.

Emma let go of a breath she didn't know she had been holding, when she realized it wasn't Regina standing in front of her but a Caramel haired woman dressed in a knee high skirt business suit and burgundy blouse. She defiantly wasn’t another cop, this woman cared about her appearance and her clothes were designer. Maybe she was lawyer; DA’s were always looking for new information on cases. The look on her face was both curious and suspicious, as she looked first to Emma's face then down at the papers on the desk. It occurred to Emma that she probably wasn't standing beside Rizzoli’s desk because she was looking for Emma, and she got up quickly.

"Um hey, hi I'm Detective Emma Swan." She held out her hand to the woman, "I assume you’re looking for Detective Rizzoli. She's not here right now, but I'll be happy to give her a message for you....um?"

Maura heard the woman speak, but it took a moment to register her meaning. Jane wasn’t here, but she had left this woman, this new detective in her place? She didn’t consider herself the best with small talk at the best of times. She could wait to find out about Jane, and she did have an autopsy to perform. “No thank you Detective, that won’t be necessary I’ll just come up later.”

Emma was a little taken aback at the short answer before the other turned on her heels toward the back exit, “Wait ma’am you didn’t tell me your name?”

The honey blonde stop and glance back with a slightly embarrassed look on her face, “Of course, I apologize. I’m Doctor-“She started before being interrupted from a voice coming from the doorway.

“Maura?” The woman in question swung her head around to find the Detective she had been looking for.

“Hello Jane.” Maura replied, a light small settling over her face, as she took in her first sight of Jane Rizzoli in weeks. Her eyes scanned over her friend, and it felt like she was drowning in brunette’s presence after denying herself the Italian’s company for so long.

For her part, Jane couldn’t help stare at the honey blonde doctor; she had missed Maura more than she thought possible. The idea that Maura would make her leave permanent had been a real worry to her, The thought that the doctor couldn’t stand working with her, much less speak to her had torn at her soul everyday she'd been gone. Now standing in front of her she tried to assess the feelings coming off the blonde.

Neither woman seemed to realize the length of their silent welcoming until an uncomfortable cough broke the silence hanging in the room. Maura looked behind Jane to find Korsak standing there, and she widened her smile.

“Hello Sargent Korsak, it’s lovely to see you.” She held out her hand automatically, but wasn’t entirely surprised when the man moved to pull her into a quick but tight embrace.

“Good to have you back Doc.” He said, and walked to over to where Emma still stood in the corner not able to take her eyes for the scene in front of her.

“So you’re back?” Jane blurted out. “When did you get back?” Why didn’t Ma tell me? She thought.

Maura gave a nod, “I got back today. I was planning to start work on Monday, but when I called in I was informed we had high profile victim. Lieutenant Cavanagh asked if I wouldn’t mind coming back early to help expedite things.”

“Yeah, and to stop Pike from screwing up the autopsy.” Jane snorted, getting a chuckle from Maura.

“Well yes there is that.” Jane reveled in the familiar banter between. “Jane, I was wondering if you would like to meet for a drink this evening.” Maura, hesitated as worked out how much she wants to say. “We could discuss our impasse and hopefully come to an understanding?”

Jane furrowed her brow at the doctor, “If that’s a very fancy way of saying let’s talk this shit out then yeah. We should do that.”

Maura grinned, “Good, would you like to come to the house at like 7?” Her voice sounding like something other than a robot for the first time since she came in. “Feel free to bring Joe or is she already with your mother?”

Jane thought of her dog which had been staying with her Ma since Maura had been out of town, she should probably bring her home. Emma would love her. Emma, oh crap. “Joe actually is living in your guest house at the moment. Maura I’m sorry I can’t come over tonight.” She spouted quickly, and apologetically.

Maura felt a sense of sadness fall over her, “Oh, I see.” She, said glancing down unable to meet Jane’s eyes. Jane must still be upset with her over Paddy’s shooting, she knew she had made some rash decisions but she was hoping Jane hadn’t been holding them against her.

“No Maura I don’t think you do. It’s not you okay; it has nothing to do with you.” Jane said trying to get the woman’s attention. “I have a friend staying at my apartment for the weekend.” That seemed to get Maura’s attention and Jane continued before the blonde could start asking more questions. “She just kind of showed without warning, and I told her would have dinner tonight.” Glancing over at Emma, who was pretending to be in a conversation with Korsak.

Jane rolled her eyes, and Maura caught on to the gesture, “Her, Detective Swan is the friend staying at your apartment from out of town. I thought she worked here, she was working at your desk.” Her inquisitive eyes narrowed.

“Yes, but no. She, hey Swan can you come over here please?” She yelled over to the tall blonde. Emma walked over to woman hesitantly picking up on the tension from across the room.

“What’s up Jay?” She asked the brunette.

Jane laid a hand on her shoulder and gestured to the honey blonde, “Emma I would like to introduce you to someone. This is Dr. Maura Isles, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and my friend. Maura, meet NYPD Detective Emma Swan, my first partner, and good friend.”

“Good to meet you Detective Swan.” Maura replied, “How long have you known Detective Rizzoli?” The fact that Maura had reverted to her title made Jane uneasy. She wanted Maura and Emma to get along they were both important to her, unfortunately both had a habit of saying the first thing that popped in to their heads.
“About ten years I guess, right?” Jane butted in.

Emma could feel that Jane needed some back up, “I needed some friend time, and you know Janie she is a great one.” A big, charming smile on her face. “My wife and I are having some problems.” Jane’s family whipped around shocked that Emma had voluntarily given up information to someone she didn’t know. The Italian knew she was obligated to give Emma a full recount of her friendship with Maura at the bar later, but if it got Jane out of the proverbial dog house it seemed like a fair trade.

The doctor’s stone cold face had melted at Emma’s explanation for the visit. The doctor took a moment to look in to the blonde detective’s face, watching how it almost seemed in pain. Maura may not be thrilled about having to wait to speak to Jane, or having the pretty blonde in her apartment, but under her current circumstances she understood. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that Emma. If you need anything while you’re here do let me know. Jane, I’ll understand if you busy but I really would like to speak with you soon.” She eyed the detective imploringly.

“Of course, Maura. I’m sure we’ll have to work tomorrow, maybe we can grab dinner tomorrow after work?”

“I would like that. I’m going to start the autopsy, but the report probably won’t be ready tonight.”

“It’s okay Maur, I know you don’t rush. God knows I‘ve tried.” Jane smirked.

Maura looked up in to her eyes, sly smile making its way to her face, “Have a good night Jane.” She said, as she headed out of the room.

Jane couldn’t help but watch her leave, before she turned back to face Emma.

Emma who had giant grin covering her face, “What the hell was that?”

Chapter Text

“So are you gonna tell me about the blonde doctor now?”

Emma and Jane slid in to a booth at the Dirty Robber at exactly 6:13, and their first beer arrived two minutes later. The list of perks of going to a cop bar is topped with the fact they're normally within walking distance from the station. With the Lake murder the whole team was going to be working this weekend so Jane took the opportunity to leave at closing time today. Prints were being run through the database, and the autopsy hadn’t been completed when they left so there wasn’t much they could do at the station anyway.

After Maura had went down stairs Jane had actually managed to divert Emma’s attention to the case for the last two hours of work, years of diversion tactics honed with her mother were being put to good use. Now it seemed her time had run out.

“Doctor Isles is the medical examiner. We work with her all the time so we’ve gotten to be friends.” Jane said vaguely. Her eyes were glued to the menu on the table in front of her, even though at this point she knew pretty much everything they served at the Robber.

Emma was quiet for a second, eyeing her friend from over the top of the menu and then grabbed her menu away. "Who are you trying to kid right now? You think I don't know vibes when I feel them, I'm a lesbian and a cop. You know in case you've forgotten."

"No, I haven't forgotten, on either front. I just don't know what to say. There is nothing going on between me and Maura."

"Yeah and Regina and I have just been roommates all these years." Emma's face turned sober, "I know who she is Jane. Every time you've talked to me in past two years her name has come up. What you never said was that Dr. Isles the brilliant, amazing at her job ME, that makes your job easier, and Maura your new best friend who has been involved in every activity you've mentioned lately were the same person. So why did it look like you weren't sure if she was going to slap you or hug you today?"

The atmosphere in the bar seemed to go still for Jane and she looked around nervously, making sure there was no one she knew around before she responded to her friend's insinuation.

"She's just my friend. Maura and I are just friends. Actually right now I don't know if we're that."

"Well you're something, she looked like she wanted to kick me out of your desk when she walked in and found me there. Literally." Jane couldn't help but smirk imaging Maria's confusion and dislike of anyone but her being allowed into the detectives space.

“Yeah,” Emma continued with a chuckle, “You’re something.”

“Didn’t we come here to talk about your relationship?” Jane said off hand, not noticing the way Emma’s smile dropped off her face.

“Right, well I feel like we're gonna need more alcohol for this conversation.” Emma got up to order another round leaving Jane at the table but the brunette detective barely registered her absence. Her thoughts were on another blonde, one who she had been thinking about non stop for the last few hours. When Jane had laid eyes on Maura today it was like a part of her fell back into place. She had missed Maura more than she thought possible. More than she should have, even for a good friend. It seemed like maybe Maura had missed her to but she knew that wasn’t enough to fix their problems. Even if they were ready to bury the hatchet it wasn’t like everything could just go back to normal. Paddy was in jail, and his trial was going to be circus. There was no way Maura got out unsacthed. She just hoped Maura would let her be there for her.

Jane was happy Emma was here, even it was rather sudden. It gave her someone to bounce her feelings off of that didn’t have a connection to both her and Maura. It was just that, sometimes talking to Emma was like submitting yourself to a lie detector test, the blonde always had an uncanny ability of telling when someone was lying to her. Jane knew that it was only a matter of time until Emma ferreted out all the feelings she had been keeping buried.

When Emma returned she was carrying a small tray filled with 6 shot glasses contain a honey colored liquor. She placed the tray in the middle of the table and sat back down, watching her friend’s eye brow lift.

“It’s a little early for that many shots of tequila isn’t it?” Jane said. Tequila was Emma’s go to drink when she was upset once in the old days, or when they were dating, the blonde had drank an entire bottle of Jose after a fight ending with her ignoring Jane for three days. Seeing as how she was already ignoring Regina, Jane shouldn’t have been surprised the drink was making an appearance.

“Not tonight, we are going to play a little game.” Emma moved the drinks into two straight lines on the table, one in front of each of them.

“Well this sounds ominous.” Jane said, eyeing the glasses in front of her.

Emma took a sip of her accompanying beer, "Well the way I figure it we both suck at talking about our feelings, alcohol helps. So here's what were going to do, I get to ask a question and you have to answer honestly and then you get to ask one.”

“And the alcohol plays into this how?” Jane responded.

“They’re your safeties, you don’t want to answer the question, take a shot.”

Jane sent Emma a suspicious, questioning glare, both parties were too competitive for their own good. “Okay… So what’s the catch? What’s stopping me from just doing all three shots, because avoiding interrogation doesn’t sound horrible now that I realize it’s going both ways.”

A smirk grew on Emma face, “If you take all three shots first you still have to play, just with no skips, until you force the other person to take theirs.”

Jane’s eyes widened, as she realized this wasn’t just a game about honesty. It was a game of chicken. She gave the blonde and a nod of respect and a chuckle, “Getting sneaky in your old age Swan.”

Emma laughed, “Maybe, but this is one of Regina’s games. We used to play it back when we first started dating.”

“Of course, what was I thinking only a lawyer could turn a cross-examination into a drinking game. Okay, go on take your first shot.” They eyed each other over the glasses on the table in silent communication, both knowing from experience it was better to start slow. The idea that this was all just a game of wits took pressure off the actual conversation.

A smile grew on Emma’s face as she thought of her first question, “Our first date.”

“Oh god.” Jane mumbled low enough the blonde barely heard her.

“I came over for dinner and a movie, because you weren’t ready to “advertise”,” She wiggled her eyebrows. “You served the best gnocchi I have ever eaten in my life. So did you make it or your mother because a little birdie named Frankie told me you don’t even know how to make gnocchi.”

 

“I do too.” Jane blurted out, and then shook her head with a guilty grin, “But I didn't then.”

“I knew it.” The blonde burst out, pointing the end of her beer her friend. “I knew there was something fishy when you would never repeat that recipe.” Emma dropped her voice to mimic the detective, “It takes to long to make the pasta, we don’t have enough time.” Dropping the voice, “All this time I just had to ask Ma. You suck, Rizzoli.”

Jane laughed at her friend’s irritated rant. “Okay, Im sorry. Im sorry, but in my defense I did care what you thought of me back then. Anyway its my turn and I want to know if you really slept with our shooting instructor at the Academy?” Jane smile widened as she saw her friends face flash bright red.

Emma lifted her beer to her lips, “And were off.”

The questions slowly began to ramp up mostly centering on the other’s sexual escapades. It felt like a conversation from a high school sleepover. After three rounds of questions Emma was taken down a shot when Jane slipped in a question about one of her previous foster dads. A few stories about the blonde’s time in the foster system had been shared with the brunette but she had always refused to name names, knowing that Jane would go after the abusive jackasses with everything she had. Emma tired to glaze over her childhood as much as possible, and only those close to the walled blonde knew about her struggles, to her some things were better left buried.

Two rounds later the blonde scored when she asked the hotshot Italian about the middle name she had voiced hatred for on many occasions but never fessed up too.

They stayed off of serious topics for a another few rounds until Jane accidentally plunged them back into the deep. “So,” She began, “Um okay a classic if you could sleep with anyone but the one you're with who it be?.” The second the words left her mouth the damage was written over Emma’s face. “Oh Shit, Im, fuck sorry Em. You dont have to answer that, I didn’t mean to go there. At least not like that.”

Emma downed the last of the beer in her bottle and shook her head, a lost look on her face. “No its okay, thats why we did this right to force ourselves to be all emotional and shit.I. I know it was a joke.” The guilt on Jane’s face didn’t lessen, if anything the heartbreaking tone from the woman in front of her made her feel worse and in solidarity she drained her nearly full beer then lifted her hand to the bartender to send another round.

“For the record,” the blonde started, “I’ve always said it was Sophia Vargas.”

Jane began to tell her how typical of her that was before Emma cut back in with a small but there smile, bringing levity back to the conversation.“But if were being honest I think that lesbian girl off of Pretty Little Liars is hot. Even if I would have to constantly remind myself she’s actually is over 21.”

Jane serious, shocked face broke into a fit of laughter “Oh my god. What? Why are you watching a show for teenagers?”

Emma hid her face behind her hands, “Shut up, there was marathon on a sick day and I got hooked okay? Besides don’t knock it til ya try it, shows creepy as hell.” The bar waitress dropped off their drinks, and gave a strange look to the Italian detective who was trying to stop her laughter enough to count out money. Emma just handed her a ten from her wallet and waved her off.

“Sure, okay…. You know, I know you would never cheat right?”

“Ya, I know.”

“Have you spoken to her yet?”

“Its not your question,” Jane nodded her consent, at the brisk cut off. “What did you do that hurt Maura?”

Jane eye’s traced the lines on the wooden table, “How do you know I hurt her? She could’ve hurt me?

“Yeah, she might have but if that was the case you wouldn’t be avoiding looking in my eye right now.”

Jane looked up, and steadfastly met Emma’s eyes. “I forget how good you can read people.”

“It’s a gift.”

“Its annoying.”

“Yeah well it doesn’t always work.” Emma whispered, her voice barely carrying over the table and she turned her head to look out the window at the now darkly lit street. “I guess even my superpower gets tricked sometimes.” The blonde’s blank look let Jane know she was thinking of a very different brunette, she hadn’t seen Emma look so lost for years.

Jane voice pulled Emma away from the window, “I shot Maura’s father.”

Between shaking off her thought’s, the alcohol which was now supporting her fuzzy feelings and trying to focus on the Italian’s absurd words she looked like a dog getting out of a bath, shaking her blonde curls. “Im sorry, I think I misunderstood you. Who did you shoot?”

“Yeah, you didn't miss anything. I'm sure you heard we caught Paddy Doyle?"

“I think every detective in the North East knows about that, it was some good catch Riz.”

“No it wasn’t, Korsak, Frost, and I knew he was in town.” Emma’s face brow furrowed “He’s Maura’s father Em.” Emma’s eyes widen in surprise, and recognition as she remembered the story from the paper.

“Maura, The Chief Medical Examiner for the State is the daughter of one biggest crime bosses in Boston’s history and you shot and arrested him. Well…. thats a twist.”

“She didn’t know, at least not until last year. Maura’s adopted, we had a case and the guy ended up being her half brother. It was this whole big thing which ended when someone tried to kill her and Paddy put an icepick through his chest. Ever since he’s been like this shadow.” Jane ran a hand through her dark mane. “I never arrested him, we never had enough evidence to hold him before and even though Maura kept claiming she didn’t care about him. I just, I just didn’t want to put her in danger. The minute he got arrested it was going to come out, hell Maura figured it out the first time because her DNA came up as a mismatch in CODIS.”

Jane’s had a pleading look on her face Emma had never seen before, like she was begging for her to understand what she was saying so she didn’t have to explain herself. “You’re telling me that you covered it up, her link to Doyle.” Jane’s head slowly nodded up and down. “You did the right thing Jane, you were trying to protect someone you obviously care about and we both know I would have done the same.”

“Yeah, and then I turned around and put a bullet in his chest and now anyone who’s looking can find Paddy Doyle’s daughter in the white pages, and the woman I’m in love with told me she couldn’t even look at me.”

“Okay, Jane stop. Here take a shot." Emma slid a glass by her hand.

Jane eyed the glass, "I answered your question, I don't have to take one."

"Maybe not, but you need one besides this conversation took a turn. I gonna need to for this buzz to kick in." Emma, and Jane lifted dual shots to their lips and threw them back.

Jane set the glass upside down on the tray still sitting on the end of the table,”So does this mean the games over? Are you gonna talk to me now?”

Emma mirrored her previous actions and looked at the now four empty shot glasses. Her head felt light as she turned back to her friend, “Yeah, okay. Where did you want to start?”

The brunette flipped through all the questions floating through her mind, all begging to be asked, but the hopeless expression on the blondes face made her pause. Most of the questions she had Emma couldn’t answer, because she probably didn’t know. “You said you knew him, do you think it was an affair or just a one time thing?”

Emma let out a sigh, her long hair dropping a curtain around her face. “I don’t know, they dated in college years ago. He’s always flirted with her, who wouldn’t? But I, I never thought she returned it. Maybe I just didn’t notice because I didn’t want to.”

“Would it make it better? If it was a one time thing, instead an affair?”

Emma looked at her like the question had never occurred to her until that moment. Would it matter? If her wife betrayed her once versus numerous times, would it make it easier to find peace with it? On the one hand if it was an affair the idea Regina had tricked her, lead her on to believe they were happy made a her sick to her stomach. But on the other hand at least an affair usually meant feelings were involved and while it would kill her to know Regina had fallen for someone else, the fact that she could have randomly had sex with someone she didn’t care about with the consequences of destroying their marriage enraged her. Jane watched the emotions play across her face. Emma’s expression cleared, “I guess i’ll find out.”

Jane bit the inside of her cheek,"Has she tried to call you?"

"Probably." The accompanying shrug of the blondes shoulders told Jane all she needed to know.

"You still haven't checked your messages. God Damnit Swan."

"I know alright,” Emma brought her hands in front with a mock surrender. “I was just hoping that by the time we talked I would have some idea what to say. But I don't, I don’t have clue what to say to my own wife because for the first time since I fell in love with her I can’t read her. I missed… something, and I feel like I can’t trust my gut anymore.”

“Em, I know what it feels like to think you can’t trust your instincts here but you're going to have confront her. You can’t solve anything else you do.

“I know.”

“I mean, its not like you can hide here forever. Unless you just don’t plan on going in to work on Monday.” The brunette replied with a light smirk.

Emma turned her attention to the half empty beer in front of her, suddenly very interested in removing the label from the glass. “Yeah, about that. Cavanaugh asked me to stay.”

“What? Like transfer back to BPD? I think thats a little rash don’t you think.”

“It wouldn’t be permanent.” Emma face looked like she was trying to decide how much she was allowed to say. “Narcotics is forming a joint task force between BPD and the NYPD. There has been an influx of drugs in the last 6 months, heroin, and apparently the pipeline runs from New York. Brass thinks its a new group, but they seem to be well established, no leads, every dealer they’ve busted has no idea who the suppliers are. Top brass wants to try combo team with including the Feds, take them down from ends.”

Jane took in her words, her brain connecting the dots, “They want you to co-run the task force as the NYPD liaison to BPD? That’s big Em.”

Emma shrugged her shoulders playing off the comment, “ Well apparently I have the added skill set of having worked in Boston, and New York, but I haven’t worked a Narcotics investigation in years. So I’ve got to say thats a little nerve wracking.”

Jane nodded her head, “If this is something you might want I have no doubt you’ll be great at it.” Emma gave an ‘aw shucks’ smile, “Have you checked in with your precinct?”

Swallowing her sip of beer Emma answered, “Yeah, apparently I was already on the short list. When Cavanaugh saw me, he thought I had accepted. My captain was on the the phone when he pulled me into his office today, he was going to bring it up Monday. That’s why he gave me the weekend off, he was getting ready to send me to Boston. I guess my marital problems were good for something, it saved travel time.”

Jane saw Emma start to head back down the dark path and reached across the table removing the beer from her grasp. “Maybe we should settle up and finish this at mine.” Emma started to protest, but she interrupted her. “I mean the Sox play at 8:30, and really when was the last time you got to watch a game with a fellow fan?”

The blonde saw through her excuse but, she conceded to her friend. Emma grabbed her blue leather jacket and slid it over her slim frame. While Jane went to the bar to close their tab, she walked outside and took a deep breath of the crisp air. The cool night breeze almost making her sway with the buzz her five or so drinks had left her with. It was mid october and there was already a chill in air that made the light jacket more than a fashion statement. She closed her eyes and breathed in the city she used to call home, so similar and yet different than the one she had grown used to the past few years.

As she breathed in her surroundings she asked herself if she could do this, pack and leave her life in New York to come back to Boston, if only temporary. This time last week the answer would have been simple, no. She wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving her life, her family, to work a case that could potentially take months to finish. Now it was almost like an answer to her prayers, a way to escape her life but not run away.

 

Jane and Emma agreed they needed to take a taxi home after realizing walking to BPD, and driving over the legal limit from a police station was in no ones best interest. Unfortunately, the cabbie decided to take the scenic route and the ten minute drive back to the apartment was now edging on twenty and Jane really needed to pee. Emma laughed at Jane watching her bounce up and down in the seat.

“Shut up Swan.” Jane glared at her friend, as the taxi finally pulled up in front of her building. Jane leaped from the cab yelling over her shoulder, “Pay the man, I’ll meet you upstairs.” Before hightailing inside and fleeing up three flights of stairs. As she reached the top of the stairs she stopped cold, all thoughts of her bladder were pushed aside by the sight of a woman, in heels, in the hallway leaned against her door. Before she could think to say anything the sound of boots coming up the stairs behind her hit her ears before a body collided into hers from behind.

Emma caught her self on the back of Jane’s blazer, “What the hell Jane? Didn’t anyone ever tell you not hang out at the top of staircases? What… Regina.”

Regina lifted her head, hearing someone running up the stairs. When Jane Rizzoli’s tall frame rounded the corner, she stopped. Locking eyes, Regina slid up the door to her full height. They stayed locked in a stare, one shocked by the woman’s presence and the other not knowing where to begin. Regina opened her mouth only to snap it shut when interrupted by another woman slamming into the Italian’s back.

Even without being able to see her standing behind the taller woman she would recognize her wife’s voice anywhere. Regina slowly slid to the side, catching sight of blonde hair, words caught on her tongue when green eyes slammed into brown. For one moment a small smile lifted to her lips at the sight of her wife before reality set in and bright green eyes harden.

“Regina.” Emma stood stock still. Her brain still laden with alcohol couldn’t process what was in front of her. Regina standing in Jane’s hallway, in Boston, still wearing what appeared to be her outfit from court this afternoon. But that couldn’t be possible because she had checked the case verdict online at the precinct, and the jury had come back at 4:30 with a not guilty verdict. Which means that Regina would have had to skip court, and her wife never missed a day of work.

Emma took in the suitcase a few feet behind her, “How long have you been here?”

“I came straight from the train station, this was the only place I could think of you would go.” Regina’s eyes drifted over to the Italian who has subtly moved away from the couple. “Hello, Jane.”

“Regina.” Jane’s eyes turned cold looking at the woman who had betrayed her best friend. “Em, I’m gonna go in. You okay?”

Emma had yet to look away from Regina, and simply nodded when Jane moved to open the apartment door and closed it behind her. It was only her years of being scrutinized by her mother that allowed her to stand in front of the blonde and not squirm. She desperately wanted to talk to her wife, to pull her into her arms, but she knew it would end badly. The empty hallway seemed to echo back their silence. Minutes seemed to pass before Emma finally broke the silence.

 

“How did you get here so fast? Shouldn’t you be celebrating winning your case?” Emma’s eyes hardened at the implication.

Regina’s stomach dropped, her eyes falling to the ground for a moment before searching out her wife’s again. “I left after the close rested, I had Jefferson stand for the verdict. I wanted to get home, well I wanted to find you.” The blondes face never softened and she took a step towards the apartment door, bringing her within inches Regina. The brunette's breath caught in her chest, as she felt Emma’s body slide by her only to stop at her side.

“Well you found me.” She said her voice so low it barely carried in the empty silent hall, and then continued her way to the door. Regina felt a shiver go up her spine and she spun grabbing on to Emma’s arm, only to have it rip away.

“Don’t.” Emma flinched away from her, “just don’t touch me.” The fire in Emma’s stare was dulled by water filling her eyes and sent shockwaves through Regina. She needed to talk, they needed to talk. She wanted to pull Emma to her but was afraid to try to touch her again. She took an uncertain step in her direction, her hands staying by her side.

“Emma please, I need to explain. Its not, I mean it wasn’t, isn’t.” If Emma hadn’t been so upset she would have found her eloquent wife stumbling over her words amusing. “I'm not having an affair Emma.”

The words focused her, and Emma’s glazed eyes narrowed before she turned away from her latina yet again, putting her hand on the doorknob to walk in to the apartment. “I can’t do this right now.”

Regina walked up behind, and said in frustration, “Stop trying to run from me, please. We have to talk about this.”

Emma turned quickly putting her inches from her wife’s face, their eyes level due to Regina’s heels.

“You think I don’t know that. You think I don’t know that we are going to have to have some long ass conversation about you deciding wreck our lives.” Emma took another step toward her wife, backing Regina slowly to other side of the hall until she was leaned against the wall. Emma’s voice remained low even though the slight tremble showed her forced control, and she continued.

“I have spent the entire day trying to avoid thinking about how we are going to have to have this talk. What I am telling you is that I can’t have this “talk” now, right now, after I spent all day at the police station working on a case that isn’t even mine because I needed something else to think about. After I spent the last two hours drowning myself in alcohol, because the idea of discussing my wife with my best friend is literally painful. All I feel like doing is screaming at you.”

“Then scream at me, just talk to me.” Regina yelled, her face contorted in guilt, her body hunched in slightly like she was ready to take whatever the blonde was ready to throw at her.

Emma backed away, shaking her head as she tried to breathe away the tension. “No. That's not going to happen, what's going to happen is you are going to whatever hotel you're checking yourself into before I say things I’m not sure I’ll regret.”

Regina felt like she had been hit in the stomach at her wife’s words, her faced started to crumble. Her brain was telling her to fight to grab ahold her blonde but she stayed against the wall unsure if her legs would carry her. “Em?”

Emma closed squeezed her eyes closed, then opened them and turned back to the door. This time a turning the handle and pushing open the door.“I’ll call you in the morning Regina.” She said, not turning around for the fear of seeing the woman she loved in distress and reaching for her. “Goodnight,” and she shut door behind her.

Chapter Text

Regina walked into Viva le Vine, and was pleased to note the small wine bar hadn’t changed. She had been here a couple of times before, back when she was still living in Boston, but with how quickly things could change in a city the space could have turned hands many times in the years since she had been gone.

The low lights glowed against the golden walls, with plush dark purple couches and small tables sporadically spread throughout the space giving the bar a relaxed, if sensual atmosphere.

It was well passed happy hour now, and small groups of friends and couples filled the bar. In her need for a good glass wine she hadn’t remembered about how romantic the place was, it was a popular first date site. Simultaneous feelings of jealousy, sadness, and guilt rose in her chest. She wondered if she should just go back to her hotel room and order a good bottle of whiskey from room service. No, she thought, it wouldn’t do her any good to drink herself into oblivion. She was going to have to face her wife tomorrow, and a hangover wouldn’t help matters. At least if she was drinking in public she would have to get home eventually, it should keep her from drinking too much. At least that was the intention.

She found an empty seat at the bar, slipped onto the stool and waited for the staff to notice her. The bartender was opening a bottle of wine and offered a tasting to the woman sitting on a stool by her right. Regina glanced at the bottle realizing she wanted the same and was glad she didn’t have to read the extensive wine list in front of her. They finished their transaction, with him pouring her first glass before he looked over at the brunette.

“Hello ma’am, what can I get for you this evening?”

“I would like a glass of Chateau de la Valence, 1996 please.” She said with her hand lightly waving to the duplicate bottle he had just opened for the woman next to her. The bartender nodded his head and walked over to the wine rack behind him, before turning back quickly.
“That was the only bottle we had of that particular wine, can I get you anything else? We have a few specials today.” Gesturing to the chalkboard behind the bar.

Regina tried to keep the annoyed look off her face, but with the night she was having it would only be seconds before all the suppressed emotions from the day overflowed. He was a good-looking young man, but he barely looked old enough to work there and gave the impression that he didn’t actually drink wine. She was about to force the man into giving her a detailed description of all the wines on the list before she was interrupted by a voice beside her.

“You can have a glass with me if you like?"

Maura had noticed the well dressed woman when she had sat down beside her. She was beautiful, probably Latina given her features and coloring, and very well dressed. Her obviously tailored clothes were designer and the blond had almost complimented her shoes when she noticed the withdrawn look on the woman’s face and thought better of it.

She may not have always read social cues properly, but years of studying body language told her the woman was depressed, and likely on edge. She hadn’t been trying to spy on the woman but there was little of interest going on at the bar. If it wouldn’t be seen as even more strange, than a woman drinking a whole bottle of wine by herself, she would have pulled the forensic medical journal out of her bag.

Maura was not blind to how others saw her; she knew she was pretty and took good care of her body. Finding a suitor for the evening was rarely a problem. Unfortunately finding someone who could put up with her unique personality, and whom she didn’t find dull was an on-going issue. Of course she did have one of those people. Jane, just the thought of her best friend sent a lead weight feeling to her stomach. The brazen detective was so much a part of her life for the last few years the idea of functioning without her seemed almost impossible. This was the first time she had been out to a bar in almost a year without the Italian and she was finding the outing lacking, as if the strides she had made in social settings disappeared. She knew without having Jane in her life she would easily go back to being the shy little weird girl on the playground no one wanted to talk to.

No, she thought to herself, I’ll figure out a way to fix things with Jane. I have to.

Maura took a large sip of her wine before noticing the bartender was still standing in front of the woman next to her.

“That was the only bottle we had of that particular wine, can I get you anything else? We have a few specials today.”

Before she could stop herself the words fell out of her mouth. “You can have a glass with me if you like?”

The woman looked at her with raised eyebrows, and Maura could feel herself being judged by the woman as if she was deciding whether she wanted to associate with her. After a few short moments the brunettes head nodded quickly, and the bartender looking eager to leave the women placed a glass in front of her. Maura lifted the bottle and poured the wine.

“That’s very nice, thank you.” Regina met the woman’s eyes, taking the glass and lightly raising it. “I’m Regina.”

The blonde lifted her own glass to meet Regina’s with a grin.

“Maura, and really it’s no problem. I’m sure I don’t actually need an entire bottle of wine myself. Besides,” she looked down at her glass. “I didn’t really feel like drinking alone.”
Regina took a moment to moment to take in the pretty sandy blonde, her clothes were impeccable and the jewelry was obviously expensive without being flashy. In fact they were dressed similarly, and it made Regina wonder what the woman did for a living, and why she would be drinking by herself. Then again she was also drinking by herself, so she didn’t have much room to talk.

Regina took a sip of the wine sighing lightly, “Oh god, that is good.”

Maura laughed at her,” that would be an accurate observation. It’s one of my favorite wines. Are you from Boston Regina?”

“No, I live in New York but I did live here years ago. That’s how I knew about this place, I was glad to see it was still the same. Although it would appear most of the old staff has left.” Her eyes narrowed slightly at the bartender chatting with a group of pretty, young women.

Maura scoffed, “Yes, it has become very popular recently; I believe they hold a late happy hour for young professionals. Hence the I believe the term is “man candy”, with lackluster wine knowledge.”

“I take it you normally participate in this happy hour, with man candy?” Maura looked slightly taken aback for a second, and Regina wondered if her joking had offended the woman. Regina grinned in a friendly manner, before continuing, “I am kidding of course, these children obviously know nothing about wine.”

Regina’s watchful stare stayed on the woman’s face, "So since this isn't your scene may I assume you have a reason to be sitting here drinking alone?”

Maura’s hand circled the top of the glass, “This isn’t exactly my normal drinking partners scene, not that they would be up to hanging out tonight anyway.” She finished in a mumble.

“Oh, I see boyfriend troubles.” Maura’s gave a small snort and shake of her head in response. “Oh, or maybe girlfriend troubles?” Regina saw the caramel haired blonde’s mouth open and close once before coming up with a response.

“No, uh no not my girlfriend,” Maura’s face grew a slight blush.

Regina gave a quick nod of her head. “I see, yes well we have all had those at some point.” She smirked taking another sip out of her wine glass.

She could feel the blonde’s inquisitive stare, as she turned to look back at her. She stayed still for the first few moments and let the other woman take her in. It wasn’t the first time she had gotten this reaction after making a comment leading to the other person having a revelation of her sexual orientation. She didn’t look like the “stereotypical” lesbian, and even though more beautifully feminine women seemed to be outing themselves on a daily basis, she got an array interesting looks every time she had to explain she had a wife and not a husband at home. Although this was the first time she had been stared at with this level of intensity, with what seemed like no flirtatious intent or judgment. In fact the other woman was looking at her like she was puzzle, and while her curious stare should have seemed uncomfortable, she mostly felt amused.

Their eyes met, both having an internal debate. The women’s emotions were overwhelmed and while both considered themselves to be private people in general, the idea of letting go for a moment to a stranger was tempting.

Something passed over Maura’s face, and a silent agreement between women had been struck.
“I’m at a bit of an impasse with my best friend, whom I recently came to the realization I am falling or have already fallen in love with. Unfortunately when you realize the person you want to talk about is also the person you talk about everything to… well drinking wine seemed like a decent alternative option.”

Regina gave Maura a knowing look, “I can understand that, especially when the reason you can’t speak to them is your fault.” She reached to pick up her wine, her left hand wrapping around the top of the stem, and for the first time Maura caught the reflection of her wedding ring catching the light as she lifted the glass to her lips.

“Is that why you're drinking alone?”

A self-deprecating smirk rose on brunette’s face, and she continued to stare in the quickly emptying glass. “Yes, there is no doubt that I am the cause of my own unhappiness.”

Maura picked up the wine bottle refilling first her own glass, then the other woman's. “Humans are funny creatures, we make choices knowing they’re the wrong ones and then regret them. Our impulses over run our heads, we are infinitely complex.”

Again Regina observed Maura critically the statement should have sounded arrogant, in fact if anyone else had spouted the philosophical ramblings she probably would have snarked and left. But for some reason, the blonde’s tone of voice and earnest expression gave the impression she was speaking, as much to herself as Regina.

Maura noticed the length of silence beginning to stretch, so she blurted out, “That’s one of the reasons I mostly hang out with dead people.” With a little smile. Looking over to see Regina’s eye blown wide, an eyebrow lifted, she continued rambling trying to explain herself. “I mean work, I work with dead people, or I work on them. I’m a doctor, a medical Examiner.”

Regina’s frozen face slowly melted, first a smirk appeared, followed by a smile, before she suddenly starting laughing. The doctor watched as the woman fell apart next to her, “Well that is not the normally reaction I get to my job description but I’ve had worse.”

Finally getting herself under control the brunette replied, her words coming out in soft bursts while catching her breath, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry truly it’s just of course you are. Of course the stranger I decide to chit chat with is a Medical Examiner.”

“Chief Medical Examiner actually-”

“Even better, I bet you work closely with the Boston Police Homicide Unit correct?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact.”

She continued talking right over the newly deemed doctor and finished with large sip of wine. She took thew shocked face of the ME as affirmation. “Lovely.”

“I’m sorry I seemed to have missed something, it happens.”

“My wife is a Police Detective in the Homicide Unit, she worked for the Boston Police before we moved to New York. Now she’s with the NYPD, but she still has “friends” in the department here. Which is why I am here, trying to beg the woman to speak with me. It’s just a little coincidental.”

“Yes, I can see how that would strange, it does seem a little improbable.” Maura said. “So your wife, can it be assumed you had extramarital relations? That’s why she’s hiding out in Boston?”

Regina nodded, and began to absently fiddle with her wedding band. Since the night before she couldn't stop touching the ring, a symbol of never ending love, loyalty, and devotion to the marriage that she done massive, if not irreparable damage to. She ran her hand to over her pant leg, smoothing out the light creases appearing after almost 15 hours of wear. “Yeah, I guess I can’t really blame her for running from me. I would have.”

Maura looked at the bartender pour drinks for a couple at the end of the bar. They were smooshed into the back corner their stools close so they leaned against each other. Both appeared to be right handed holding their drinks with their right hands, it was impossible to make out if they wearing rings, on a first date, a tenth. “Was it an affair?”

“It was a mistake, a one time made horrible mistake.” The guilt was visible on her face and it actually made Maura feel better about her new friend. She had obviously done a horrible thing but it was clear she felt disgusted by it. Maura knew that feeling, she had never been married but she didn't have a spotless dating history. She had graduated college at 19, became a doctor by 23 and broken more than one heart by a lack of time and fidelity during her residence. She felt terrible about hurting her past lovers now, it was one of few subjects she had avoided speaking about with Jane, who was more a thinking is cheating type. Jane, she had no idea what to say to her tomorrow. She had built up her defenses the last few days trying to find some way to explain her feelings about her father getting taken down by her best friend, and at the same time inform Jane that their relationship was no longer purely platonic. At least not on her part, she hoped not on both their parts.

Silence had fallen over the women, both trapped in their thoughts. Thinking about the uncertain status of their relationships. It had been five minutes since either had spoke and Regina’s already sour mood was falling even lower. She was an idiot, she thought. Who tells a stranger they cheated on their wife, only two results spawn from that. One the person is appalled and thinks you’re a whore. Or two, they see it has an opening and assume they have shot too. She ran a hand through her short, dark locks, downed the rest of her wine glass and began to rise from the stool. Regina pulled her purse off the hook underneath and sat it on the bar, before grabbing her coat.

The movement shook Maura who looked at her with confusion, “Oh you’re leaving? I mean of course you’re leaving why else would you be putting on a coat?”

Regina kept her eyes down searching through her purse for her wallet, pulling out two twenties she laid them on the top of the bar. “Thank you for the company, I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable.”

Maura reached over, tipping her chair slightly, to lay her hand on Regina’s wrist, “Please don’t leave because of me. You didn’t make me uncomfortable, honestly that's normally what I do to people so I’m aware of what that looks like.” Regina eyes slowly pulled up a small hopeful smile adorned her face, and with a nod from Maura sat back down. Maura slid the money back towards her, “Keep it, at this rate we might need another.”

“Thank you.” She said, the subtext obvious.

They sat for a few moments in silence, the awkward tension broken but neither knew quite what to say. Maura twirled the stem of her wine glass. Well she thought, you have to share if want to be someone to share with. “You know the friend I was talking about? I’m in love with her, and I don’t know if she has clue.” Regina’s eyes filled with understanding and sympathy, she was glad the other woman was choosing to up to her and nodded her head for the blonde to continue. “I hope she does, or maybe not. If she knew she probably would have brought it up by now, but she didn’t so logically that would mean she’s avoiding it. In which case, she doesn't want to embarrass me or hurt our friendship by confronting it. Not that we’ve talked recently so I’m not sure how much more of a friendship we have left.” At the touch of a hand on her wrist Maura stopped talking looking over to Regina, who held her eyes.

“The first time I met my wife I thought she hated me.”

“What?” Maura’s watched as latina’s eyes started to glaze over, a small amused smile lighting up her face, as she was clearly caught in her past.

“To be honest Im pretty sure she thought I was a bitch, but I actually can be so only of us was wrong. My point is that things are not always as they seem when it comes relationships, some people date and fall in love as they go and some of us get hit upside the head. Are you afraid she won’t return your feeling or are afraid she won’t accept you after?”

“No, she would never hate me for something like that. It would be painful if she doesn't return my feelings, but I think we could still be friends in the end.”

“Then you need to tell her. Secrets never end well, trust me.”

The music in the bar had made a shift from airy jazz, to a more upbeat classical guitar. Maura saw Regina reach for her purse and thought for a moment she was going to leave again before she pulled a card out of a pocket along with a pen. She looked hesitant, then quickly wrote on on the card. She slid the card across the bar, “Look I don’t normally do this, this talking to random people about my life thing, that might be fairly obvious. But you’ve been a godsend this evening, and I don't just mean because of the alcohol. If there is anything I can do or advice I give on your situation please let me know.”

Maura lifted the card seeing a phone number written in cursive with no name added. Flipping the card over she saw printed in a bold but elegant font, Mills, Gold & Associates, Regina Mills, Partner Attorney. Along with office address, and numbers. Her eyes widen almost comically and looked back and forth between the card and the woman next to her. “Regina Mills? Well it’s a pleasure to put a face to the name.”

“Excuse me?”

“It would appear that we are already mildly acquainted. I believe my family has been clients at your law firm for years. I have a personal attorney in Boston, but we do quite a bit of business with you for the Isles Foundation.”

She watched Regina’s face go from confusion to shock. “Oh my god, yes we do all the contracts for the Isles Foundation. I tend to do more criminal law, my mother works mainly with account but I've filled in on occasion. I guess that makes you Dr. Maura Isles, its a pleasure to meet you.” Regina’s hand moved to shake hers, as if on automatic response.

“I hope we're not going to get all professional now because I must say it's a little late for that.” Regina looked down at her hand and shook her head with a light laugh.

“Yes, I would agree that it is. I hope I didn’t, I mean I wouldn’t want to-”

Maura raised a hand.“It alright, I think we both shared more than normal, and it’s nice. To talk to someone who understands the world I come from, without the fake smiles and platitudes.”

Regina lifted her glass, to meet Maura’s. “Cheers to that.”

---

 

Emma’s eyes were shut tightly hiding from the offending light streaming through the blinds. She stayed perfectly still wrapped in warm blanket as her senses slowly came to her. She remember the day before in pieces, first being at BPD, and then talking to Jane at the bar, and finally Regina standing in the hallway for Jane’s Apartment. Regina.

Emma eye’s opened wide as she was pulled out of the last remnants of sleep. Regina was here, in Boston. She had came to confront her and Emma had promise she would talk to her today.

“Damn.” Her head hurt from what she could only guess was a mixture of stress and alcohol. Oh right, Tequila. A noise behind her had her leaning up to see Jane’s figure rummaging through the kitchen. “I really hope that's coffee you're making?”

Jane turned around with an unimpressed look, “And a good morning to you too. This.” She said, gesturing to the two of them. “Is your fault.”

“This is all my fault?” Raising her eyebrows.

“Well we can blame Regina if you want, seeing as she’s not here to defend herself.” Jane put a cup of coffee down on the table and pushed Emma to one side of the couch so she could sit down. The two tall women slouched, their legs stretched out under the coffee table in front of them. Emma held her coffee tightly in both hands, the heat from the cup warming her body in the cool morning. “So what time are you going to meet her?”

Emma kept her eyes on her coffee cup, using one hand to untangle her mane of blonde hair. “Not sure, I told her I would text her. I need to go to precinct first.”

Jane slowly nodded her head, “So does this mean you know what you're going to do?”

“I guess that depends what you're asking about?” Emma got up before Jane could ask another question and took a large gulp of the coffee, feeling the liquid burn down her throat. “Im gonna go take a shower, its gonna be long day.”

Chapter Text

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Regina pulled her vibrating phone from the table, yanking the charger from the wall in the process. It was 10:30, and she had been up since 6. Not even the bottle of wine last night had helped her sleep. She had been lying in bed watching different versions of the same news programs for the last 4 hours. Three times now her phone had rung and each time she had jumped to answer it only to have her assistant Mary Margaret Blanchard be on the other end with an update about one case or another.

By the third call she promptly told her it was Saturday, and unless one of her clients was arrested for at least a felony a junior associate could handle it and she needed to go home to that dog walker boyfriend of hers. Mary Margaret was a good assistant as much as Regina hated to admit it. They just had extremely different point of views on how to handle people, which is one of the reasons why she was her assistant. Regina had complained about her overly peppy, sunshine, the world is made of gumdrops Paralegal to her wife for a month before Emma had finally surprised her at work for lunch just so she could meet the woman. A five-minute conversation later and Emma had declared she couldn't fire her, her sunny disposition was the yin to Regina's pull no punches yang. Apparently, some clients like to have someone to hold their hand and tell them it was going to be okay. Regina was not this person.

One year and twenty cases later it was now abundantly clear that, while Regina was sure she could work without Mary Margaret, she certainly made her life easier. Now if she could just stop her from sharing every thought in her head they would be golden.

The brunette took a deep breath and swiped her screen to read, (1 txt) EMMA SWAN-MILLS.

EMMA SWAN-MILLS: Hey. Had to go to the station with Jane, then shes gonna let me borrow her car. Do you want to meet at 12 to talk?

"The station?"

Me: Good Morning, yes of course. Would you like to meet at my hotel? We could order in room service.

She waited for five minutes, her fingers tapping on the phone cover when two messages came in back to back.

EMMA SWAN-MILLS: No
EMMA SWAN-MILLS: We can go out for lunch, I'll pick you up outside the hotel at 12.

"Of course she doesn't want to meet you in your hotel room." Regina chastised herself. She quickly typed out an affirmative response and tossed her phone on the bed.

Looking over to the clock on the bedside table, she saw she had about an hour and a half to get ready. She slid off the bed and walked over to her hanging clothes bag, pulling the hangers apart. She had nothing appropriate to wear, not that she guessed there was a certain outfit you wore to beg your wife's forgiveness. She had a few pant and skirt suits, but that seemed much too formal. The last thing she wanted was for Emma to see her as an attorney, she wanted her to see her wife. The one that secretly played video games on the couch with her for stress relief, not the bitch in heels. That’s where she was supposed to be right now, at home with Emma talking about their work weeks, and trying to decide if they should actually go out for dinner. Regina telling Emma she’s cooking, and Emma trying to convince her to order pizza.

Regina picked up one of the simpler dresses she had brought, then laid it out on the bed before heading to the bathroom. One hour, fifteen minutes.

--

REGINA <3: Okay, I’ll be downstairs.

Emma zipped her phone in the pocket of her leather jacket, sighing deeply and pushing off of the wall she had been leaning on. She walked over to Jane’s desk and fell into the “guest chair” next to it. She picked up the file on the edge of the desk, flipping it open she began to scan the information the computer search she had started the night before generated. It was mostly a list of names found in Phillip Lake’s article cross-referenced to the BPD criminal database. Out of the more than 200 investigative pieces, 100 names had popped some could be discounted because they were currently serving time. Others could be moved to the bottom of the list because Lake may have written an article but he hadn’t been the one to uncover the crime.

Emma had made a list of 15 people so far who had a personal grudge against Lake when she felt at foot kick hers. She looked up to Jane’s face about 6 inches from hers, Jane’s curly hair effectively blocking the paperwork she had looking at.

She slid backward on the wheels of her chair. “Is there a reason you’re invading my personal space?”

Her friend raised an eyebrow, “First off, you’re at my desk so don't push it. And Second, I have been standing here for two minutes. And I brought you a coffee.” Gesturing to the steaming beverages sitting in front of her.

Emma colored slightly, “Sorry. You just kinda appeared. I’ve started making a list of suspects.” Emma handed the paper over to Jane who immediately started scanning it. She took the opportunity to taste the fresh cup of coffee and sighed appreciatively. She needed this. “Thank you, for the coffee…. and the desk.”

The Italian just shook her head and waved her off, “Thanks for the free help. Weren’t you going to meet with the Captain?” Jane’s eyes never strayed from the papers in front of her, one hand on the work, one absentmindedly holding her coffee.
“Yeah, but I told him to give me to the end of the weekend. If I take it, they want me here starting at the beginning of the week. I’ll have to go back to New York to meet with the team there to get caught up, and grab my stuff. I wasn’t really prepared for this. And I feel like I need to at least talk it over with Regina first."

"Of course, yeah I get that." Jane's eyes never left the papers in front of her. "What time are you meeting her?"

"12."

Jane looked up sharply, "Are you making her meet you here?"

"No, I didn't want to run the risk of running into Ma in the cafe. I'm going to get her." Emma was pretending to look over another folder, "I figured we could go to lunch, public places tend to make for calmer conversations."

Jane nodded her head, "Sounds like a good plan Em. Only one problem."

Emma looks up, "What's that?"

She was met with a smirk from the detective, "Its like 11:50."

Emma grabbed her cell off the desk and looked at the time in bright bold numbers. “Shit. Crap, traffics gonna be a nightmare downtown at lunch.” She jumped out of the chair, grabbed her jacket and headed for the door.

“Emma!” She stopped short and spun around just in time to see something flying towards her, she caught it automatically and looked down at her hand, “Keys.”

--

Regina had been standing outside of the lobby of her hotel for 15 minutes, which meant Emma was officially 10 minutes late. At any other time, this would mean Regina had just gained the right to choose their lunch location. During the early days of their relationship Regina had gotten increasingly irritated at her girlfriend's habit of showing up late everywhere. After the 3rd time Emma had shown up more than 15 minutes late to a lunch date the brunette had refused to eat with her until Emma told she would eat whatever she wanted her to. Once she had been forced to eat salads, or grilled chicken and veggies instead of a cheeseburger and fries a couple of dates in a row the blonds timeliness suddenly got exponentially better. Of course, this wasn't a date, and the longer Regina stood under the green canopy shading the lobby entrance the more nervous she became.

She finally saw a navy blue honda pull up with a blonde in the front seat. Regina leaned down checking to make sure it was Emma before she got in.

“Sorry I'm late.” The blonde said as she pulled back on to the street. “Traffic was a nightmare.” It was a lie, traffic had been a breeze and if she would have left on time she would have probably been early. She glanced at Regina who wore a knowing look on her face, and she could tell she was working to keep in her retort.

“Its fine. How was the station?”

“Fine.” Regina took a deep then let out a sigh when she realized that was all she was getting and looked out the window. She didn’t want to push Emma.

The silence in the car was stifling. The weight of the tension, such a strong presence, it felt like a third person in the car sitting in the back seat anxiously waiting to be acknowledged. Emma tapping her hand lightly on the steering wheel nervously as she drove. She had so much she needed to say, to ask, but she didn’t want to. Not here, not in this tiny enclosed space where there was nowhere to hide, nowhere run when the conversation turned sour.

The thought scared her, the idea that she would want the option of running from Regina, from her wife. Sure they had fought before, couples did that and they were both stubborn, passionate people. But Emma had never wanted to run from her, not since their first fight years ago over something so stupid she barely remembered it now. What she remembered was Regina coming to her apartment the next morning, two coffees and a bear claw in hand, telling her if she wanted to date her she needed to learn not to run from an argument because Regina could be as big a bitch, as she could be a brat. That if she couldn’t handle her when she occasionally snapped, to tell her now and she would leave, or she could come in talk it out and let it go.

The feeling that there was someone who wanted to make up with her, who cared enough to fight with her stayed. It was the first wrecking ball that shook the walls she had spent so long building up, ones that not even Jane had managed to crumble. Ever since that night they formed a fight routine, if an argument got out of hand she could take an hour or two, go for run, do whatever she needed to but she always came back, before bed.

This was different. The trust they so painstakingly built together had taken a critical hit and every one of Emma’s red flags was up.

Emma drove on autopilot, pulling into a space outside the cafe before she even realized they were there. Regina took in the small restaurant and smiled that it had not changed a bit. Emma noticed Regina was looking at her with a secretive smile, and ducked her head.

“They have the best sandwiches in town.”

“I know.” Regina said, opened the car door and headed inside giving her wife a moment. Oliver’s did have the best sandwiches in Boston. Emma had introduced the cafe to her on their first lunch date five years ago.

By the time Emma entered the cafe Regina was sitting at a small round table in the back of the room next to large window with green curtains that hadn’t changed in the 10 years since she had found the place. She was struck by the scene, the light from the window pulling out natural auburn highlights in Regina’s hair and her seated pose one ankle crossed over the other, sent her right back to their first date. She suddenly had the urge to look away. Taking her place at the table she grabbed the menu in the napkin holder.

“I ordered for us.” Emma stared up at Regina, “You always look at the menu for five minutes and then order the same thing, I figured I’d make it easier.” She said uncomfortably, now rethinking the decision that would have provided a few minutes of distraction.

“Thanks.” Emma said, placing the menu face down on the table. A few moments passed before an overly cheerful waitress came by with a glass of tea and a black coffee. She looked at the brunette with an apologetic smile on her face, “So sorry about the wait, we don’t serve much coffee after breakfast. I had to brew a new batch. Are you sure you don’t want any cream or sugar?”

“No, thank you.” Regina said with a polite smile. She blew on the drink before taking a sip, and noticed Emma looking at her with interest. “What? Did I spill something?” Glancing down.

“Hungover or got no sleep?”

“What?”

Emma repeated the question, “Are you hungover or couldn’t you sleep? You only drink black coffee if you're suffering in the morning. So which is it?” Taking a sip of her own beverage.

Regina’s eyes widen a little at her wife picking up on one of her tics even she wasn’t aware of, “I um, I guess I didn’t sleep well. I did have two glasses of wine, that little wine bar I used to go to is right down from the hotel.”

“Oh.” Emma nodded, internally wincing at her Regina drinking wine in the yuppie suit bar. “Well, I’m sorry you couldn’t sleep.” Regina was saved from having to reply by the arrival of their lunch. She laughed at the blonde who barely let the waitress put the plate down before she scooped off the grilled cheese and let out a small moan at the first bite. Her laugh died in her throat at that sound, Emma looked up at her and her eyes held a mirth she hadn’t seen in days like she knew exactly what she was thinking. Regina couldn’t help the mischievous smile that took over her face, or her hand when it slowly inched across the table to lay on top of the pale one in front of her. But the second they touched the smile dropped off Emma’s face and her eyes dulled. Pulling her hand away slowly enough that the people sitting around them didn’t notice her ripping her hand away.

Regina closed her hand around air, before dropping it to her lap. Remembering their conversation from the night before when Emma had asked her not to touch her. She watched Emma finish off half the sandwich, the only sound coming from people at near by table chatting, and munching on chips before she couldn’t stay quiet any longer. “Emma, please talk to me. That’s what we're supposed to be doing talking this out, and all we’ve done for the past hour is ignore the elephant in the Room.”

“Elephant? I didn’t notice Robin was that big.” Emma murmured under her breath.

“What?” She said with a huff.

Emma looked at her square in the eye’s, “I said, “Okay, talk.”” She watched Regina’s eyes shut for a moment like she was preparing herself for this conversation, she wasn’t completely unaware of the look although it was normally reserved for when her wife had to talk to her clients.

Regina’s eyes opened, she loved Regina’s eyes, their rich chocolate color. Even when the brunette was stone-faced she couldn’t hide from Emma if she looked her in eyes. Now she could see the guilt that was filling her up, the pain that was right on the surface. Emma’s heart ached to stop this conversation before it started and pull her wife into her arms. She held her hands in her lap twisting her fingers together.

“Emma, what you saw.. Robin, there is no excuse for what happened. We had been drinking, but I wasn't out of my mind drunk. I, I am so sorry. I know that doesn’t mean anything right now. I know that, but I do love you and will do whatever you want me to if you’ll forgive me. If you’ll let me earn your forgiveness. I can’t lose you.” Regina's voice broke at the end, at the thought of losing Emma.

Emma listened to the words flowing out of Regina, she knew it would be an apology. She was prepared for it, I mean what else do you say to the supposed love of your life after she walks in on you naked with a colleague. What she wasn’t prepared for was how unmoved she was by the speech. Sure, the look in Regina’s eyes rang true and she knew she was actually sorry it had happened, but there was something about the statement that was missing and without that she couldn’t even start to process it.

“Why?” The hollow sound of her voice tore at Regina’s heart, “Why would you do this to us?”

“I told you there isn’t an excuse.” She held her head high and, fought to hold Emma gaze.

“But there has to be something, you can’t just go from being in love with your wife to sleeping with your college ex with no reason.” Emma’s eyes begged her for an answer she wasn’t prepared to give.

Regina broke their contact, refusing to meet her eyes while she spoke. “Marian is pregnant.” She could hear the huff from Emma, but she refused to look at her and see the astonished disappointment on her face. “We were talking about children, I know it sounds worse now. Robin... he said he wasn’t ready to be a father. I told him he was lucky.” A wistful look fell over her face. “Then he started asking how I felt not having any children, he may have been an egotist but he knew back then that I wanted kids eventually. He started talking about how it must be such a pain for us to try and have a family.”

Emma's gut clenched in both pain and anger. Hearing that Robin’s wife was pregnant, that he was going to be granted the gift of a child when he didn’t even want it made her sick. She and Regina had worked so hard to have a child, rounds of shots, and time to pick the perfect donor. They had finally gotten lucky eight months ago, but the child wasn’t meant to be. Halfway through the second trimester Regina had woken Emma up crying in pain. They hadn’t told many people about the baby just family, Regina’s parents, Jane, Ruby, and Belle. It made it easier not having to explain to a whole bunch of people something they had barely understood but, it was hard like they were almost pretending nothing had happened to the outside world.

Regina had taken the mandatory week off from the doctor and had been working pretty much every day since. They had talked about trying again but, every time Regina had changed the subject. Emma knew she was terrified of losing another child, and made the doctors run numerous tests. She could feel Regina pulling away from the idea, readying herself for the idea they wouldn’t be able to have a child, at least not one she would carry. But Emma had tried to be there, she thought they were okay.

“You told him.” She said, and the betrayal in her voice was staggering. She watched a single tear fall down Regina’s smooth, tan cheek. “You let him comfort you, instead of me.”

The tears in Regina’s eyes welled, “I’m sorry, Emma. It was like the dam broke and I was so upset, and he, he was there.” The words hit Emma square in the chest. He was there. Like she hadn’t been? She had been there every day. Regina had refused to open up, refused to talk to her, hadn’t wanted to talk to her but she talked to him.

“I’ve always been replaceable.” Regina’s tearful eyes snapped back to Emma’s face. She reached across the table grabbing her wife’s hands, whether she wanted her to or not forcing the blonde to look at her. She had heard that tone before, that soft whisper that only entered into Emma’s voice when memories of her lonely, sad childhood came back to haunt her. She couldn’t let Emma think she thought of her like that. She squeezed her hands pulling her back into the present.

“You are not replaceable to me.” And it was the truth, Regina knew there no way she could have screwed up more. Emma released her hands from there hold and steadied herself for the next part of this conversation. Everything that she had learned in the last few minutes had solidified her decision about her job and she felt both relieved and saddened by the idea in equal measure.

“I’m taking the train back to New York tomorrow night.” Regina felt confused by the out of place statement. Of course, Emma was leaving tomorrow, she had apparently managed to get off Friday but must have to be back at the station Monday morning. “But I’m coming back to Boston on Tuesday.”

Regina felt her heart stop beating in her chest. She stopped breathing. She could see Emma’s lips were still moving, but she couldn’t make out the words.

“You’re leaving me?” She said the words like a statement rather than the question it was. Emma words died and she was unable to shake the stricken look on Regina’s face. The part of her mind that was furious at the pain the woman had caused was telling her she leave it, just let Regina think this was the end. It should be, right? This is what happens when someone cheats, there's a breakup or a divorce, but her heart the one organ she had no control over couldn't stand the overwhelming loss.

“No, I'm not.” A small drop of hope appeared on Regina’s face and then mixed with confusion. Emma wasn’t leaving her, but she was leaving? “There’s a joint task force being formed between the NYPD and BPD, someone’s running drugs from Boston to New York. They want someone up here who can run the op from both sides. Apparently having worked for both departments put me on the short list.”

Shock and worry flooded over Regina and for the first in two days she wasn’t thinking about Albany, Robin, her infidelity or her marriage, she was just thinking about Emma. “No, you… you haven’t worked Narcotics in years, you’re in Homicide now.” Regina hated when Emma had worked in the drug unit, it seemed silly to be more scared for her wife then than now when she was chasing murders, but Narcotics almost always meant gangs. Homicides were usually cut and dry in the end, motives that made sense and people who only killed once. Serial killers were rarer than tv shows made them out to be. The drug unit was different, gangs, drugs, money, guns, and undercover work. The only time Regina had almost lost Emma was to gang member in New York, her first year. Emma had been undercover as a hooker, and when she cornered the young man to make the bust he had pulled a gun on her, she been lucky the teen was scared and a bad shot. A through and through on her left shoulder.

Emma could see Regina panicking, she should have known she would react this way, she forcefully grabbed her arms shaking her lightly. “Hey, stop.” She could see her taking slow deep breaths, “I'm not going undercover. They want me to run the investigation, help put the team together.”

“Why can’t you do that from New York?”

“The drugs are originating from Boston, they want to try and stop the flow before it gets out of control. They need someone here.” Emma said, removing her hands from her arms.

Regina heard the silent second part to that statement, they needed, someone, not necessarily Emma. “How long? When will you be home?”

“I don’t know. A month, a few, I’m not sure. I think I need some time.”

This was her fault. Emma didn’t have to be here, it wasn’t even her department, they probably would have asked her anyway but she would’ve never voluntarily been away from her. She gave Emma a pleading look, begging her to change her mind and come home with her. But Emma wouldn’t meet her gaze, Regina became cold and her eyes dulled. She may have just cost herself her family, her love, her wife.

Chapter Text

After their conversation in the cafe, the ride home was stilted at best. Neither knew what to say, as much as they had discussed they hadn’t solved anything. Regina could see the hotel up ahead and she glanced over at the Emma, her eyes straight forward on the road. She could see the tension in her shoulders and she ached to run her hand over the back of the blonde's neck, but she kept her hands in her lap grasping her purse. As the car pulled to a stop in front of the hotel the silent tension turned awkward as Regina hesitated to leave the car.

“I’m going to fly home tomorrow morning, would you like me to book a ticket for you as well. it's a quick flight, I could make dinner and we could talk some more?”

Emma turned her head, reading the cautious hopeful expression, she tapped the steering wheel lightly with her fist. “Um, I already bought a ticket for the train . It’ll be late, I’m gonna have lunch with Jane and the Rizzoli’s.” She watched as Regina’s fell.

“Oh.” Regina thought about the Rizzoli clan, their Sunday dinners were... tradition, in the best way. Being let into them was a point of pride. Regina’s own family while kind enough was different. Small. Quietly, powerful. With more focus on what you did, then who you were. So when she met the Rizzoli’s, Emma’s makeshift family, she at once was taken aback and in awe of them. Angela Rizzoli was everything her mother wasn’t, open, and involved. “Have you, um I mean have you told..”

“No.” Emma’s voice was firm. “The only who knows anything is Jane. Ma just thinks you had to work this weekend. I didn’t know what to tell her. I still don’t.”

“Okay.” Regina took the risk of reaching for her hand, happy when she didn’t automatically pull away. “Thank you, for not saying anything and for meeting me today.”

Emma watched their hands, the feel of Regina’s hand caused a warm tingle on her skin. “Well, it wasn’t like we could just ignore it.”

“I do want to fix this, Emma. Please tell me you’ll let me try.” Regina’s voice sounded soft in a shy way that was so unlike her it caused emotions to rise in Emma’s chest, and she pulled her hand away in fear that if she didn’t she would flip it over and grab Regina’s. But she couldn’t do that, the easiness of their connection was too dangerous to hold on to at this moment. So she pulled back and heard the sharp intake of breath from the woman beside her.

Looking up at Regina she gave a thin smile, “I'll see you at home.” She said, and at the obvious dismissal Regina lifted herself out of the car, and she watched her walk away.

----

 

The morgue was Dr. Maura Isles favorite place in the world. More than her home, more her favorite shoe store, and more than the second floor study room in the library at Boston Cambridge University. It was her sanctuary, no problem couldn’t be solved within those walls. Unless of course that problem came in the form of a tall, beautiful, stubborn Italian detective.

When she had parted ways with Jane the night before it was all she could do to let her leave without talking to her, but she had, and she knew it was the right decision. Anytime the women had gotten into an argument Jane required about twice the amount of cool down time she did, and if she was being honest she wasn’t even sure they were having an argument. The logical conclusion, of course, was that Jane had been caught up taking care of her friend, and while that was noble and completely in character Maura couldn’t stand the idea that someone else was taking up Jane’s time. Someone who was staying at her apartment, who had obviously been a very good friend, and yet Maura who had all but lived with the woman for the past few years had never heard of her.

The lizard part of her brain recognized that a glaring factor in her immediate agitation towards the woman was that she was very good looking. Detective Swan, had long blonde princess curls and seemed to contain a swagger not unlike Jane herself. Thankfully the steadfast logical side, reminded her that not only did the woman not live in state, she was married and obviously having a rough time of it. She may not always understand the rules of friendship but, she did realize this meant the blonde probably needed Jane more than she did last night.

And her night hadn’t ended up all that bad, she had avoided going home till late mostly so she wouldn’t be cornered by Angela. But the wine bar had been a wonderful choice for distractions, the wine was lovely and she had met what could be a new friend. She still couldn’t believe what a coincidence it was that she and Regina had so much in common. They seemed to come from the same world, and yet Maura didn’t feel the same level of idle rich that she did from most of her family acquaintances. While it was obvious the other woman had made a few mistakes, she sounded sincere in her guilt, and it made Maura wish she could help her somehow.

She grabbed her purse from the hook in her office and pulled out her wallet containing Regina’s business card. Holding her phone in her right hand and the card in the left she contemplated calling her, but she was unaware of the protocol on this matter. It wasn’t like she was used to making friends in bars, she still wasn’t all that use to having friends at all. She didn’t think it was like the social dating rules they teach in movies, the ones stating a 24 hour waiting period was appropriate, as they hadn’t been on a date. Plus, Regina seemed like she might need a friend to talk to now, not in another few days. Deciding on her course of action Maura added the contact to her phone and typed out simple message, reminding the woman who she was and asking her how her day was going. The worst that could happen was Regina wouldn’t respond at all, right?

The phone sat silent on her desk while she continued studying the paperwork that had piled on during her “vacation.” It was never ending, as the Chief Medical Examiner for the whole state she had the final sign off on all suspicious deaths. Flipping through the pages, she glanced at the clock before throwing the lab work back on her desk and running her fingers through her hair. It was now four in the afternoon, and she had yet to see Jane. On any normal day Jane would have been down to the morgue numerous times rushing her to finish lab tests, or ribbing her about keeping her lunch in the dead fridge. While Jane had never given a specific time she would be appearing during their chat, she had yet to so much as see her from afar. Therefore, specific time or not, Jane was officially late and she wasn’t waiting one minute more.

Maura marched out of the lab and punched the button to the elevator and didn't even look up as the doors opened and she walked straight into another person coming out at full speed. The force of the collide caused Maura to lose balance, her heels coming out from under her, and she tensed bracing for impact with the floor only to be caught by strong arms wrapping around her back. A shiver ran up her spine, and she automatically relaxed into the hold before pulling back and standing back up, meeting the eyes of her victim with a shy smile.

“Ya know normally people wait for people to come off the elevator before jumping on, at least that’s what I heard.” Jane watched as Maura busied herself with brushing the wrinkles out of her skirt. “Maura, it’s okay no wrinkle would dare to mess with your clothes.” The caramel haired women gave an amused laugh, but looked awkwardly around. “So why were you barreling towards the elevator anyway? We have a break in the case?” Looking around the floor to see if she had knocked papers from the woman’s hands.

“No, I just-.” The idea that Jane had been actively avoiding made her feel silly since it was now obvious she had exaggerating, “I was hungry. I... um never ate lunch, I was- well I was coming up to see if you were ready for dinner.”

Jane could see the hesitation in Maura’s eyes, and the idea Maura was anxious around her now felt like a kick to the stomach. “Wait are you finished for the day?”

Maura glanced up at the detective, “I’m pretty sure I have enough stuff to keep me occupied till next weekend actually, but it is a Saturday and there’s nothing active I can do. I am waiting on the lab results for Mr. Lake. So I was thinking we could pick up a pizza, and maybe head over to my house? I am sure Joe misses you.”

“Yeah, well I’m pretty sure she’s adapted to mom’s version of “pretending” to drop scraps right into her bowl, but yes pizza sounds amazing. I just need to let Emma know that I won’t be home, and I probably need ride. I lent Emma my car.”

“Right.” Maura, nodded her head stiffly. “If you need to reschedule I understand. You have company.” Why did I say that, she thought. You don’t want to reschedule, rescheduling will drive you crazy.

“No!” Jane said, startling them both, “I mean it’s fine, I mentioned to her yesterday I was meeting up with you. I just need to let her know.” She pulled out her cell before Maura could say anything else, and take away their chance to clear the air. She didn’t want to mess this up.

“See. Done.” Jane said, slipping the cell into her pocket. “Let’s go home.”

Jane turned quickly walking back into elevator, she felt her face flush. What the hell are you talking about Jane? You don’t actually live there. Reaching the rear of the space she turned to glance down at Maura, instead of the always curious expression, she saw small smile gracing her face.

The ride back to Maura’s had been quiet, not tension filled, just quiet as if both women had made a conscious decision to give each other space to settle in each others company. It had been weeks since they had been in the same place, and the sense of peace Maura found in their camaraderie was a gift she never thought she would be granted in the presence of a living person. Just sitting next to Jane,and not feeling the need to spout out random, even if useful, facts to fill the air was telling.

--

“So,” Jane mumbled around a bite a rather large bite of pepperoni pizza, “How is your mother?”

Maura placed the her slice down on the “real plate” she had made them eat off of, much to Jane’s exasperation, before answering. “She’s doing well, it took her a few weeks mainly in bed but she is moving around on her own now. I think the sea air is doing her good.”

“I’m sure you’re what did her good.” Jane replied, causing a light blush to color Maura’s cheeks.

“Yes, well having a live in doctor probably helps.” Jane sighed, and Maura nodded her head, “And maybe spending time together helped us both to move forward.”

Jane fidgeted with the napkin at her side thanking Maura silently for always using cloth napkins, since she would have ripped a paper one into tiny little balls by now. “Have you heard from him?”

“No.” Maura voice was quiet.

“Maura, I… I want to say i’m sorry for what did.” Maura nods her head slightly, not quite meeting Jane’s gaze. “But I can’t, I honestly thought he was going to pull the trigger. I still do.” Jane dropped the napkin and reached her hand out, she lightly pushed back Maura’s gaining her attention. “What I can say sorry for is hurting you, for betraying your trust even if I thought It was to someone I could trust. So I’m sorry Maur, I’m sorry you got hurt, because you are the last person in the world I want to do that to.”

Maura’s eyes glazed over, sniffed refusing to cry. This was it, she was going to tell her. Right now, she was going to tell how much it had hurt, not because Jane shot Paddy but because Jane had told her secrets. Because she trusted Jane more than anyone in the world, because she loved her. She gathered her breath, “I know, I know you didn’t want to hurt me, or see me hurt, and Paddy wouldn’t have hurt me.”

Jane opened her mouth to protest, only for Maura to stop her, “But he would have hurt you, or anyone else in that room. He told me, and Jane I don’t know what I would do if something happened to you. The first time was bad enough, and I didn’t even…”

“What Maura? You didn’t what?” The confusion in Jane’s eyes, brought her confession to a halt. Why did she look confused, did she really not know? The sudden implication of confessing her feelings to an unprepared Jane caused Maura to come up short.

“I, I didn’t know how much your friendship meant to me.” She squeezed out, only barely avoiding the hives her lying would have caused. Jane leaned back on her stool, as if she was appraising Maura and there was a look in her eyes she couldn’t quite reach.

“You mean a lot to me too Maura.” Before Maura could question her, Jane stood up and scooped the pizza box off the counter tossing it into the trash. “I should probably go grab Joe from the guest house, before Emma comes to pick me up.” Walking to the backdoor she said, “I’m glad we talked, it wasn’t the same without you here, work and just life I guess. Let’s not do that again, okay?” Maura nodded her head as the Italian walked out the door.

---

“So, how exactly in all of your stories about the great Dr. Isles did you not mention that Ma was living with her?” Emma sat curled in the corner of Jane’s couch, with Joe stretched out across her lap. She continued to scratch behind the puppy behind the ears, while razing her friend.

“It just kinda happened Em, Dad left and Mom didn’t really have anywhere to go. We tried to move her in here with me.”

Emma’s eye widen looking around the one bedroom apartment, and Jane scoffed, “Exactly, we would have killed each other in less than a week. Maura invited her stay in the guest for awhile, and then well I guess they bonded. Next thing, I know it’s been a year and family dinners are eaten off of nicer silverware.”

“Wow, so let me get this straight. She took care of you when you were shot, she moves in Ma “voluntarily,” host every family dinner, and the idea that Maura could be into you has never crossed your mind?” Emma eyed Jane imploringly. Taller woman stood to grab another beer, shaking her head on the way to the fridge.

“It’s not like that Emma, Maura.... she’s different. Highly intelligent, but not a manipulative bone in her body. Kind, but an inability to lie, literally she breaks out into hives. I have seen her go on dates with a guy, only to diagnosis him with some chronic disease she just happened to spot over dinner. If she had any feelings for me outside of friendship it would have been impossible for her not to tell me.” The depressing look on Jane’s face showed how little faith she had she would ever get a chance with her crush.

“Jane, just because someone can’t lie does mean that they are telling the whole truth. We should know that better than anyone, and if the way she looked at me when she found me sitting in your desk last night was any indication, she might feel more than you think she does.”

The brunette rolled her eyes, taking a long swing of her beer, “Okay enough about my nonexistent love life. Are you going to tell me about your talk today?”

Emma looked down to the puppy still on her lap and ran her finger through her fur, the softness soothing her anxiety, and anger, brought on by the memory of her lunch that afternoon. “There’s not much to talk about, she apologized. Told me it meant nothing, it was a mistake. Asked me to let her fix it. Not sure how that goings to work, it’s not like she crashed the bug.”

“Did she say why?”

“She said, she said was vulnerable and drinking, that Robin was there.” Emma’s eyes darkened, the anger at hearing her wife had let that man hold her while she cried, the pictures in her head of Regina laid across the bed when she should have been in Emma’s arms. “Robin started asking about kids, his wife is pregnant.” Jane scoffed, and the blonde continued, “I guess he started in on how hard it must be for her not to have any children, and how he knew she would be a great mother. What a pain it must be to have to play with science and not do it the old fashioned way. Regina kinda lost it, and”

“-And the response was to rip his clothes off.” Jane yelled, “What the hell is that, Swan? How does that make sense?”

“Jane-”

“Seriously, Em. That got knocked up his wife and his cheating on her, that’s bad enough.”

“Jane-”

“And I’m sorry Emma, but you lost her too. Yeah, you weren’t carrying her but you lost her too. And I just can’t believe after everything Regina would do this to-”

“RIZZOLI.” Emma’s voice raised over Jane’s, the tv, and yelp Joe let out as she jumped off the blonde lap and landed in the corner of the room. The blonde leveled her friend with a calm stare, “I know it’s wrong Jane, I know there isn’t an excuse and I don’t think I was expecting one. Nothing could defend that, but…” Emma let her gaze drop and soften, “I’m missing something, I don’t know what but there’s a missing piece. Regina, she looked broken. Guilty, yes but more. I can’t talk to her right, but I have too.”

“You’re going to forgive her.” Jane stated flatly, it wasn’t question.

Emma shook her head, “I don’t know.”

Jane continued to stare her down, “I think it’s time for that beer, huh?”

Emma leaned back on the couch, her eyes avoiding Jane’s by silent calling the hesitant puppy back to her side before lifting her to her chest. “No, I think it’s better for me not to drink anymore.”