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Buried Deep

Chapter Text

The short walk from the beach across to Columbia Road, where Kate's house stood felt like an eternity to Jane's rather than the five minute walk it really was. Every fibre of her being prayed that it wasn't Kate and that the past could very firmly remain that.

Both Maura and Frost had the sense not to press Jane about what had got her so visibly agitated, choosing instead to gently coax answers from Lucy instead about how she knew the deceased.

Knocking stray grains of sand off her boots when they reached the front door, Jane looked at the young woman to confirm that they had the correct house.

"The door is open, you can go right in."

Unholstering her weapon, Jane looked at Frost who did the same. Before she could complete her non-verbal countdown to enter, Lucy interrupted. "Is that entirely necessary? No one else lives here and I was in the house before I headed to the beach."

"Call it an occupational hazard, but I need to make sure."

With Frost instructing a uniform to wait by the door with Maura and Lucy, the detectives went into auto pilot and entered the property; pistols, heads and eyes were aligned to respond to any danger.

The outside of the property belied a modern open interior which allowed Jane to quickly work her way across the ground floor. With shouts of "clear" echoing through the space, Frost mirroring her actions upstairs, they quickly ascertained that the beach house was safe.

Frost made his way back downstairs and Maura, as she had done countless times before went to find Jane. Lucy simply followed.

They found Jane close in the open expanse of the living area which felt even larger than it was due to the floor to ceiling glazing that had replaced conventional walls. Providing unfettered views of the beach and ocean beyond, the view was stunning, but that was not what had caught Jane's attention. Her eyes were fixated on a wall and on it hung a huge canvas. In a reclining pose a figure laid nude, her eyes closed, perhaps in gentle contemplation or dressed by sleep, the feeling conveyed however was one of peace.

Completely captivated by what was in front of her Jane didn't hear the others join her. They all too took a moment to look at the huge piece of art that commanded their attention.

Tilting her head to one side to enable a fuller analysis of figure, Maura was the first to break the silence. "The artist has done a wonderful job of capturing the line of the sternocleidomastoid in the neck and that of the obliques. This a beautiful representation of the female anatomy."

Frost was less delicate. "Jane is that you?"

"Yes. And no." Being literally laid out bare in front of her colleagues was not what she had expected to have to explain today or ever for that matter.

All eyes, nonetheless rested on Jane for an explanation.

With her hands trying to help with the explanation, she pointed firmly at the portrait. "That is me, but I never posed for that." A mix of embarrassment, rage and shock tangibly radiated from her. "Kate...Kate used to sketch me during class or whenever she had her notebook on her. That's just what she did. She drew all the time." The memories came back in droves and her voice cracked a little. "...but, that one...no."

The truth however was that Jane didn't know if Kate had captured her like this. She probably had, but that was somewhere she wasn't going right now. Frost was quick to catch onto the internal struggle that Jane was trying her best to hide.

Turning to Lucy. "Are there any more pictures like these of Detective Rizzoli hanging in the house?"

"Frost, what the.." Jane was cut off mid flow.

"Yes. There is a huge portrait in the master bedroom."

"You've gotta be kiddin' me!" Jane's composure was now in tatters. She had also started to pace the room, her hands moving between firmly being placed onto her hips, her badge and gun exposed, to raking through her hair. This was not happening.

"It's a head and shoulders piece in oil. It's stunning and it captures your spirit perfectly."

"My what?" Jane just stopped and stared hard at Lucy.

The tension in the room was full to overflowing, but was broken by a new voice that came from the entrance to the house.

"Dr. Isles. Dr. Isles are you in here? Just to let you know that we have loaded deceased and we will be shortly departing."

Maura took that as her cue to leave. "Detectives Rizzoli, Frost, I must leave. I'll see you back at the station." Knowing that Jane was still in a state of flux, the ME gently squeezed her arm and looked at Jane, her green eyes piercing into her friends. That connection brief as it was, gave Jane the anchor she needed to stop unravelling there and then on the spot. Maura was always her safety and her heart ached from that fact. Jane's eyes silently reciprocated a thank you.

Frost once again took the lead. "Ms Daniels, would you also come to the station please. I think a different setting will help us get through some follow on questions. I'll have one of the uniforms drive you. We will leave one here to guard the property in the interim, as we may need access for the forensic team later." He led her to the door and the uniformed officer escorted her to a waiting car.

Jane still hadn't emerged from the living space. Her attention now rested on a graduation photo from the Boston Police Academy. As one of the tallest of her class, she stood in the back row flanked by her fellow, newly appointed officers.

"Which one is Kate?" The question came from behind Jane.

She turned to see the non-judgemental eyes of her partner. "There in the second row. Third from the left. She had lighter hair then."

The ride back to precinct was one where Jane was caught in silent contemplation. Frost knew better than to press Jane for something that was clearly too raw for her talk about openly. Whilst he didn't have the years of experience as a Detective compared to his colleagues, he could read the body language of someone who was conflicted. He didn't need to be a psychology major to see that in Jane right now.

As he pulled into the secure parking lot, Jane let a deep breath. She went to get out of the car but changed her mind to turn back to Frost.

"I did know Kate a long time ago and I haven't seen her pretty much since we graduated. Just know this, I had nothing to do with her death, but folk will wonder why I am plastered all over her place."

"I believe you Jane. I hope that we can get through this one quickly and cleanly. I only asked if there were others so that we knew before anyone else got access to the place."

A silent thanks left her mouth. "I've gotta go and see Maura."

"Go." He paused and gently grabbed her arm before she left the vehicle. "Everything will be ok."

I hope so.

Maura had already changed into black scrubs and she was finishing off her preliminary examination of Kate Hoskins, her assistant Suzie Chang close by her side acting as scribe. On seeing Detective Rizzoli enter the inner sanctum, she quietly excused herself. She had seen that look before on Jane's face and knew that it signalled a personal conversation with the ME. Without any fanfare she quietly left the autopsy room and closed the door behind her.

"Jane...are you ok?" The concern was genuine from Maura. "This morning must have been quite a shock for you."

That is the understatement of the year. For once Jane's usual jocular manner to deflect awkward questions or moments was noticeably absent, a fact which her best friend did not miss.

"Jane. What is the matter? You are starting to worry me."

"Can you cover her up please?" Jane's hands motioned somewhat frantically over the now naked body.

"Of course." Pulling over the green coloured sheet, Maura added, "I'm sorry, I should have done that when you came in."

Jane's heart once again ached at just how thoughtful Maura was being. She wondered just how long that would last. There was only going to be one way to do this.

" Mau..." The crack in Jane's voice grabbed the ME's attention fully. Pinching the bridge of her nose for what appeared to be the hundredth time in the last few hours, Jane attempted in vain to curb the pain between her eyes. Squaring her shoulders, she looked deep into the eyes of the woman she knew she was about to hurt.

"You cannot conduct the autopsy on her."

"Why ever not. I do believe that my professional integrity will not colour my findings even if you knew her."

"Oh, I know that Mau and I would never doubt that. It is...it's not just because we knew each other."

"Then what Jane?" The usual calm demeanour of Maura was starting to be tested by Jane's evasiveness.

"There is no easy way to say this, so I'll just say it as it is." Another pause. "It's because we were lovers."

If there was a reason to be voiced by Jane, Maura would have never expected that one. The years they had known each other they had shared so much of their personal lives. They had a relationship that challenged the conventional boundaries of friendship. To an onlooker, their closeness, the way their lives intertwined, suggested that they could indeed be more than just friends. To Maura, there was no other person on earth who she trusted more than Jane. They had both openly said that they loved the other and there were moments when a shared look, silently proclaimed a much deeper connection, but neither of them had ever declared their true hand. If there was to be such a moment Maura surmised, it bore no resemblance to the one which was unfolding right in front of her. If Jane was indeed open to the possibility of something more, then why had she not said anything before about Kate?

Maura was certain that her true feelings were known to Jane, but was convinced that they wouldn't be reciprocated, so she held on dearly to what she had. Now she felt cheated, felt that Jane's lack of honesty made her hopes feel so worthless. Struggling to bring order to her thoughts and feelings, Maura felt her own composure slip as the hurt slipped deeper into the core of her being.

Jane watched her friend literally disintegrate in front of her. Almost hearing Maura's thought processes play out, she braced herself for the outcome. Inwardly chastising herself for not having been honest and playing a safe line over the years, she had hurt the person, a woman, that she loved more than anything or anyone. Everything was nothing short of a monumental mess. Knowing what was coming, didn't lessen the blow, it was magnified. A tear of self-pity slipped down her face, perfectly timed with one word that she hoped that she would never have the misfortune to hear.

“Leave.”