Two months had passed in perfect bliss, Jane and Maura continuing to enjoy their loving bubble. It was getting harder to hide their relationship from everyone and Jane’s mother was getting nosier and nosier. The detective was keeping her at bay, but just barely. Jane had spoken to Maura about ‘coming out’ to everyone and they had agreed that it was probably time.
So, as their cooking classes had just ended, Jane decided to host a dinner party at her apartment. She invited her Ma, her brother Frankie, and Maura, of course. The detective used the pretense of them being classmates to invite Maura, telling her Ma what a help the doctor had been in getting her through the classes.
Maura had struggled to contain her laughter when Jane had said this over the phone, the smaller woman snuggled into her detective’s side as her girlfriend was speaking to her mother. The taller woman had given her a stern glare that quickly dissolved into a look of absolute love when Maura had looked up at her through her lashes with a shy smile. The couple was hopefully in love and not even the threat of her overbearing Italian mother could ruin that for Jane.
On the night of the dinner, the detective was a nervous wreck. It was only due to Maura’s calming kisses and soothing back rubs that kept the taller woman from calling her family and cancelling the dinner. Jane had prepared a simple gnocchi dish with a nice butter sauce that showed off some of her new skills but wasn’t too much. She had made the gnocchi from scratch, with Maura’s help, of course, but the rest was all Jane. The detective was proud of her accomplishment but still worried about how her mother would react to the news of her new girlfriend.
At just a few minutes after seven, there was a harsh knock on the front door before Jane heard a rattling of keys in the lock. Shaking her head at her mother’s lack of respect for her space, the detective rushed to the door and flung it open, catching her mother by surprise.
“Ma, if you knock, don’t you think you should at least wait until I answer before using your key?! For crying out loud, I gave you that key for emergencies!” Jane scolded, allowing some of her nerves to drive her rant.
It was easier to rant at her mother than worry about her big news. Angela looked repentant for half a second before the fire sparked in her eyes and she pushed passed Jane into her apartment. Jane just rolled her eyes, noticing her brother lurking outside, smirking at the interaction.
“Really, Frankie?! You were just gonna let her barge in?!” Jane asked indignantly as she grabbed her brother roughly by the arm, dragging him into the apartment so she could close the door.
Frankie just laughed and patted her on the back. “It’s Ma, Janie.” He said this as if it was explanation enough and, despite Jane’s outburst, it really was.
As they turned to rejoin their mother, they heard an excited exclamation from the kitchen. Jane rushed past her brother, having momentarily forgotten that she had left her lover alone with her mother. She skidded to a halt when she saw Maura wrapped up in a giant Rizzoli hug, the matriarch crushing the startled woman.
Seeing Maura’s uneasy face at the action, the detective made her way over and tapped her mother on the back. “Ma, let the doctor go, for Christ’s sake. Can you act like a normal person for one second? It’s like you don’t know how to act around company,” Jane huffed out. She was met with a backhand to her stomach.
“Janie, what have I said about taking the lord’s name in vain. And besides, I know Doctor Isles. She comes into the cafe every day at the precinct and I was excited to see that she was the Maura that you had invited. Sue me!” Angela said, shrugging. Maura, thankfully, looked amused now instead of panicked as she had been when swept up in the hug. Jane knew that her doctor didn’t necessarily like being touched, except of course when it was Jane doing the touching.
Jane gave Maura an apologetic smile before turning to introduce the woman to her brother. The look she saw on her brother’s face made her hackles rise and she stepped in between his line of sight and Maura’s. Jane didn’t like the lascivious look that had clouded Frankie’s face.
“Francesco, knock it off,” Jane practically growled, the use of his full name and the tone snapping him out of his leering. Jane only calmed slightly when she felt the reassuring hand on the small of her back, the touch of her lover always relaxing her in an instant.
“Jane, it’s ok. You must be Frankie. It is a pleasure to officially meet you,” Maura said diplomatically, stepping around Jane’s protective form, shaking the man’s hand briefly, aware of the continued growl coming from her girlfriend at the contact. Frankie, showing some survival instinct, smiled politely at the doctor and let go of her hand immediately, aware that he was treading on thin ice with his sister.
“Well, Janie, something smells good in here. Let’s eat! I’m starved,” Frankie said in an attempt to stop his sister from glaring at him. His effort wouldn’t have worked if it weren’t for the subtle look and touch of Maura. Jane allowed her tension to drop and smiled at her doctor before moving to the kitchen to grab the food she had prepared.
“Jane prepared a lovely handmade gnocchi in a rosemary butter sauce, an arugula and prosciutto salad, and has paired the meal with a nice Sauvignon Blanc,” Maura proudly stated, forgetting that she wasn’t revealed as Jane’s partner yet. Jane couldn’t be mad though because her love was adorable when she was proud, whether it be of herself or Jane.
“Wow, Janie, you did all this?” Angela questioned, mouth agape at the spread her daughter was laying out on the dining room table.
“Yup,” Jane replied, popping the ‘p’ to emphasize her smug smile. She very rarely was able to leave her mother speechless and she was taking full advantage of the moment.
“Sit down everyone, let’s get this started,” the detective motioned to the chairs, absentmindedly pulling Maura’s out for her, forgetting that they weren’t ‘out’ yet but so in the habit of doing so for her love. Jane missed the looks exchanged between her brother and mother at the action as she was smiling adoringly at Maura when she put her hand on Jane’s forearm in silent thanks.
Jane took her seat and started passing around the dishes so everyone could serve themselves. Once everyone was served, she dug into her food, suddenly realizing she had been too nervous to eat lunch and that she was, in fact, ravenous.
As her mother and Frankie took their first bites, they both let out surprised hums, clearly not expecting to find how good the food was. They had been privy to Jane’s cooking attempts before and had been expecting the worst, despite the months of cooking classes. They honestly thought she hadn’t been going, making the excuse of being busy to avoid spending time with her family.
“Janie! This is fantastic!” her mother gushed, taking another bite and nodding her head, agreeing with her own statement.
“Mmmhmm,” came Frankie’s response. He was too busy shoveling more food into his mouth at a shocking pace to say anything more.
Angela cleared her throat, glaring at him, moving her eyes to Maura, as if to say ‘there is a lady present’. Jane just laughed at the exchange, smiling proudly as her doctor looked at her lovingly.
“Jane really has become a lovely cook,” Maura said with pride in her voice, realizing she might have revealed too much when all three Rizzolis turned to look at her with an inquisitive look, Jane’s more pleading than anything else.
After an awkward moment, the detective filled the silence by adding, ”we eat the meals we make at the end of each class. Maura was really happy when my first solo attempt didn’t give her food poisoning.” She hoped her joke would clear the tension and, after another brief silence, everyone let out varying degrees of laughter, Maura’s more polite than anything else.
“Yeah, I could see that. One time, Janie tried to make- OUCH! Ma, Janie kicked me!” Frankie yelped. Jane didn’t want her brother regaling embarrassing stories to her love. Maura looked amused at the exchange when Angela turned to Jane and scolded her for hurting her brother.
When she was done, Angela turned to Maura and gave her an apologetic look. “I promise I raised them better than this Doctor Isles,” she said, glaring at her kids.
Maura just laughed and replied, “I find their interactions amusing, as I am an only child. And please, I’ve told you repeatedly to call me Maura.”
Jane smiled at the way Maura spoke to her mother. It gave her hope that the Rizzoli matriarch wouldn’t freak out as much when she found out that she was dating the doctor. That reminded the detective about why she was having this soiree and, not wanting to drag out her nerves any longer, Jane decided to bite the bullet.
“There is, uh, something I wanted to tell you all,” Jane started, her voice shaking a bit with nerves. Maura tilted her head at the sudden change in her love’s voice and Jane tried to smile at her reassuringly. Again, the exchange was noticed by the other Rizzolis and they both turned to look intently at Jane for her to continue.
Having the undivided attention of her family made the normally tough woman start to sweat and she wiped her hands on the napkin in her lap. “So, you know how I have been MIA a bit lately...well, it’s because I met someone.”
Jane paused to take a breath and before she could continue Angela shouted, “I KNEW IT! You can’t lie to your mother, Janie!”
The detective just rolled her eyes at the interruption and continued, looking at Maura for moral support. The look of adoration that her doctor was wearing was enough to steady her and fill her with the confidence she needed to get the rest of her revelation out.
“Ma, you were right about one thing. By taking those cooking classes, I did meet a nice person.” This time Jane paused to smile lovingly at Maura across the table.
This time the Rizzolis understood what was happening and it was confirmed moments later. “Mom, Maura and I are dating. Well, it’s more than dating. Maura is my girlfriend, Ma,” Jane said shyly, never taking her eyes away from her love, finding all the strength and courage she needed in the hazel eyes she loved so much.
Only the sound of Frankie choking caused the women to break their eye contact. Maura went into doctor mode and tried to ease him through the fit with water and light patting on the back. This time Jane didn’t feel the need to be protective, their relationship being out in the open allowing her to relax, her brother now knowing that the doctor was off limits.
As Maura attended to her brother, Jane snuck a peek at her mother, the woman surprisingly quiet after the big news. As Frankie started to breath more normally and Maura returned to her seat, the detective looked at her mother closely, trying to read what was going on with the matriarch.
“You ok, Ma?” Jane finally asked when the silence got to be too much. Angela reached for her wine glass and finished off what was left in her glass in two gulps.
Jane took this as a bad sign and looked to Maura to try to prepare her for the coming anger her mother was sure to shower them in. Her doctor gave her a tentative smile, unsure of what would happen next. Even Frankie seemed to be holding his breath as he watched his mother just as closely.
Finally after returning her glass to the table and filling it back up, Angela turned to Jane and said, “You really should listen to me more often, Janie.” Jane’s jaw dropped at her mother’s words and before she could respond, Angela was speaking to Maura. “A doctor. Finally! So when do I get my grandkids?”
Jane’s jaw dropped even farther, if that was possible, as Frankie burst out laughing. Seeing Maura struggling to try to come up with a response to her crazy mother caused Jane to join him, shaking with laughter at the absurdity of the entire situation. Her mother was accepting, for once, that Jane was gay, but that didn’t seem to slow the woman down on her one track mind.
Seeing her doctor continue to grasp for words, Jane got up and went around to her love, leaning down to embrace the woman from behind and placing a soft kiss to her temple. Jane felt as Maura melted into the hug and Jane smiled widely.
Looking at her mother, the detective said, “Ma! Give it a rest. We’ve only been together a few months. Just be happy I admitted you were right.”
The entire table laughed at that and Jane finally felt at peace for the first time that day. She had her love in her arms and was surrounded by a family who loved and accepted her. Not a bad outcome and, if it took cooking classes to get her here, then so be it.