Bradlee’s Department Store
Boston, Massachusetts Region
United Commonwealth of New England
Giovanni Gilberti was a man on a mission.
Gilberti paced all over the Bradlee’s SuperStore in Quincy, starting in the deli section, then through grocery; the women’s clothing section; shoes; toys; electronics; sporting goods; and home & garden.
He wasn't quite sure what he should be looking for, but perhaps whatever he found would be the thing that would finally win over Jane Rizzoli.
So far, he hadn't found it, nor anything close to being it.
Discouraged, Giovanni sat down in the books section. Maybe Jane likes to read?
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“Maybe she’ll like that,” he said, tossing the book in the cart next to the tortilla chips and nacho cheese dip.
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“Jane’s not the history type,” Giovanni said to himself, putting the book back on the shelf. Another book caught his eye.
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“Kid’s book,” he said. “Maybe if Jane and me have a kid.” Giovanni from time to time wondered what it’d be like to be a dad.
He went to the fiction section, and picked up the first book he saw.
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Giovanni found himself nodding off to sleep. A few moments later, he was woken by a sales associate.
“Sir? Sir? Are you alright?” She shook his arm, gently, until Giovanni came to.
“Oh…uh…yeah! Yeah, I’m cool,” he said, waking up. “Did I…did I go to sleep?”
“Um, yeah,” said the 19-year-old African-Confederate girl whose nametag said JAYCIE. “I guess you’ve had a long day?”
“Yeah, you could say that,” he replied, and told her of going all over the Boston area to find a present for a woman he liked. He wanted something that she would never forget, and would help prove his love for her.
“I know just the trick,” Jaycie said, and grabbed his wrist and drug him towards the toy section.
Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles’ home
Agent Jane Rizzoli had one hell of a week, and all she wanted to do was enjoy the weekend with her wife and forget all about the Confederate scumbag who had NEI and Boston P.D. scrambling.
No rooftops, no screaming lunatics, and no crying teenaged girls reunited with their frantic parents, thankful their daughter was home and not servicing a Confederate or Soviet businessman in Buckhead – or Guyana – or Moscow.
Her alarm rang. She looked over in bed, to find Maura’s side empty, and then noticed the faint smell of coffee. She put on her slippers, and walked down their stairs in her silk pajamas to the kitchen, where she saw the love of her life preparing one of her fancy coffees in that fancy coffee machine she ordered from Starbucks in Greater California.
To Jane, Maura – early in the morning, even without makeup, wearing her satin kimono – looked like a million pounds.
“Good morning, sweetheart,” Maura said, pouring Jane and herself a cup of coffee.
“Morning, hon,” Jane said, walking over to give Maura a peck on the mouth, then accepting the cup and plate Maura handed her. “This one of your fancy coffee brews?”
“No,” Maura said. “I considered brewing a pot of Arabica coffee I purchased from the Malayan Union. But with the week we’ve had, I concluded you would best enjoy a simpler coffee: Rio, from Brazil.”
Jane looked at her funny, then took a couple of sips. “Hold on. You purchased coffee from the Malayan Union?”
“Yes,” Maura said matter-of-factly. “I contacted a shop in Kuala Lumpur – the one we stopped at on our way back from Shanghai – and asked them to ship me one months’ supply of their Arabica and Pacifica brews.”
“Why not go down to the store and get your ‘Arabica’ and ‘Pacifica’ brews, Maur?”
“Because I wanted the distinctive Malayan brews, which local shops and ‘stores’ as you suggested, could not replicate,” Maura replied.
“Did you call some coffee shop in Brazil to get this?” Jane said, holding up her cup.
“No. I drove down to Sainsbury’s,” Maura said. “I looked high and low for a decent supermarket brew. I refuse to buy that sludge you bought there a month ago—“
“Maur!!!” Jane said, putting down her cup and rummaging through the kitchen cabinets: as she suspected, all of the instant coffee she bought during a rare trip to the supermarket was gone. “Maura! You threw it all out! That was good coffee!”
“No, that was sludge. This is good coffee” – Maura said, pointing to the Rio label on the Sainsbury’s coffee box – “and this is grand, delicious coffee” – pointing to the boxes of Malayan coffee on the floor. “And I didn’t throw it out. I donated it.”
“Donated it? Where?”
“Boston Police Homicide.”
“Homicide?...no wonder they had all that extra coffee – that was my coffee!” Jane whined.
“That was your sludge,” Maura said, smiling, handing Jane back her cup. “This is your coffee. Now drink before it gets cold, while I prepare a healthy breakfast.”
“A ‘healthy’ breakfast?” Jane said. “Right now I’m in the mood for some eggs and bacon and toast…fried.”
“Fried foods are unhealthy,” Maura said. “We’ll eat oatmeal with blueberries, multigrain waffles with jam made from strawberries—“
The door bell rang.
“Oh, Jane would you get that?” Maura said. “That may be my Arabian coffee shipment.”
“Arabian coffee???” Jane said, walking to the door as the doorbell rang a second time. “From where?”
“The Trucial Arabian Republic,” Maura replied, and Jane stopped in her tracks, rolling her eyes, as the doorbell rang a third time. “I’M COMING. HOLD ON.”
She opened the door, and saw nothing but fluffy, pink velvet and what she thought might be a couple of stumps.
“What the...?” Jane said, looking at the sight, then pushing against the velvet. A couple of moments later, a young girl with a Bradlee’s cap appeared between the doorway and the velvet.
“Are you Jane Rizzoli?” she said, pushing forward a MacPad with a tablet pen attached to the side. “Please sign here.”
“Not until you tell me what the hell that is,” Jane said, as Maura joined her.
“That’s a Vermont Cuddly Bear, 'An Official Product of the Republic of Vermont',” Bradlee’s Girl said.
“Wow. That’s supposed to impress me?” replied Jane. Maura joined her at the door and took the MacPad. “I’m Maura Isles, Jane’s wife. Can I sign for the--"
Maura noticed the pink plush velvet thing taking up every inch of her doorway. "What is that?”
“A giant pink velvet Vermont Cuddly Bear that can barely fit through our front door,” Jane said, as Maura signed for the package. “Why is that thing here? Who sent it?”
Bradlee’s Girl took the tablet, tapped a few times, and found what she was looking for. “This is a gift from a Giovanni Gilberti.”
Jane rolled her eyes in exasperation, and Maura was confused. “Why would Giovanni send you a Vermont Cuddly Bear?”
“That’s a good question, Dr. Isles,” Jane said, turning to Bradlee’s Girl. “Did Giovanni give a reason why he’d send Fluffy Bearzilla to our house?”
“There’s a note,” Bradlee’s Girl said, and tapped on the MacPad. “Here it is...
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
This bear is Pink
And I like you Jane.”
Maura and Jane looked at each other, as Bradlee’s Girl whistled, and Pink Vermont Cuddly Bearzilla was pushed through the door by a man who looked like he could play linebacker for the Boston Redcoats.
Both Bradlee’s Girl and Bradlee’s Guy nodded, said their goodbyes, and left before Jane could chase them down and make them take the bear back to Giovanni’s garage.
Instead, Jane and Maura were left to stare at the bear, laying on its side, looking every bit as big as a horse.
“God, Maura,” Jane said. “What are we going to do with Bearzilla?”
“What are we going to do about Giovanni?” said Maura, who endured her share of advances from the guy before Jane put her foot down – and became the object of Giovanni’s desire.
“We’re gonna spill the beans,” Jane said. “We’re going to tell him what he apparently can’t get from a wedding notice in the Boston Dispatch.”
Jane Rizzoli, New England Intelligence Agent (NEI-5)
Dr. Maura Isles, Chief Medical Examiner, Massachusetts Region, United Commonwealth of New England
Barry Frost, Detective, Homicide, Boston Police Department and NEI Consultant
Frankie Rizzoli, Detective, Homicide, Boston Police Department
Angela Rizzoli, Jane’s mom and Maura’s mother in law
Vince Korsak, Detective, Homicide, Boston Police Department
rizzoli & isles
NOTE: Special thanks to Chipperback at alternatehistory.com for his graciously allowing me the use of his Willa Catherverse as the setting of this alternate universe version of rizzoli & isles. This is a revival of a story I began three years ago and never got to finish. The storyline is set in what would be the Catherverse version of the show's fifth season.