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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:20 am 
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An alternate universe rizzoli & isles story, set in Chipperback's Willa Cather universe at Alternate History. While New England Intelligence agent Jane Rizzoli works with Boston PD on a cold case, she and her wife, Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Maura Isles, decides enough is enough regarding Giovanni Gilberti, and that it's time to spill the beans to him about their marriage. WIP.

Prologue

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?

WHIRLING DARVISH
THE UNAUTHORIZED STORY OF THE 2014 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS BOSTON RED SOX


“Maybe she’ll like that,” he said, tossing the book in the cart next to the tortilla chips and nacho cheese dip.

WALKING FREEDOM’S ROAD
30 NEW ENGLANDERS TELL OF THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST MALCOLM LITTLE


“Jane’s not the history type,” Giovanni said to himself, putting the book back on the shelf. Another book caught his eye.

JFK
THE UCNE NAVY’S GREATEST ADMIRAL


“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.

WHAT IF?
15 AUTHORS SPECULATE HOW SAVING FDR COULD HAVE SAVED THE UNITED STATES


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.

Boston
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.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:08 am 
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Chapter 1

Author's note:
Long story short, this story is Rizzles set in an alternate universe, where the United States broke apart in the 1930s and Canada in the late 1970s. North America at present is split into several countries, including the United Commonwealth of New England (where the Catherverse version of the TV show is set in), and a Confederate States in the former Southeast (the Big Bad of the Catherverse world and the greatest enemy of the UCNE's and the rest of Free North America). That - and the survival of Barry Frost, plus Jane and Maura in a marital relationship - are the main differences between this story and continuity of the real-life TV show. Otherwise, the characters are the same as canon. Any questions, message me – if I can’t answer them, I’ll point you in the right direction. - BD

Boston Police Department
Division One
Homicide Department


It was Monday, and Barry Frost was supposed to be working on a cold case.

To observers, it appeared he was playing with a Japanese robot action figure he bought off eBay, ignoring the open folder next to his phone. His right leg was in a cast up to his knee, and a pair of crutches laid against the side of his desk.

Frost’s mind, however, was fully on a wreck he was involved in a few weeks before. One blown tire made the difference between a fractured fibula and the grave. He tried not to think about the accident too often, any more than he thought about his suspicion that it wasn't an accident.

"Agent Rizzoli?"

Frost looked up at the delivery man holding a box. "I'm Detective Frost. Agent Rizzoli isn't here yet. Something I can help you with?"

"I have a package for Agent Rizzoli," the man replied, putting the box on Rizzoli's desk, then pulling out a tablet. "Sign here."

After a phone call to Security, verifying the delivery man - and the box - had gone through the metal detectors downstairs, Frost signed for the package, sat down after the man left, and licked his lips.

He didn't have long to wait. He could hear Jane from the moment she walked off the elevator.

"Ma...no, Ma! Don't call the cops! He's not a threat...Ma, he's harmless...and dense. He's dense but harmless...Ma, no, Frankie's at a crime scene, don't call...Ma...no. Don't go, don't go please stay home and don’t go...Ma…Ma…MA!"

Frost heard the dial tone from Jane's cell as she reached her desk.

"Arrrrrgggghhhh!" she grunted, tossing herself in her chair, directly across from Frost.

"Everything alright, Jane?" Frost asked.

"No," Jane said. "Ma wants Giovanni put in jail."

"Giovanni? Why?"

"All those stupid presents he's been sending me. Ma thinks it's harassment and wants him put in jail."

“Really.”

“Yeah. Last week it was the Alex Ovechkin bobblehead. I like the Bruins but I’m not that into hockey. Then he sent me an Englebert Humperdinck CD. He thinks I like Englebert Humperdinck.”

“Who doesn’t?” Frost quipped.

“Me,” Jane said with a bit of aggravation. “Ma thinks the guy’s some sort of stalker—”

“Isn’t he, Jane?”

“Excuse me?”

"I’m saying, maybe she has a point."

"'She has a point'? You too, Frost? C’mon. This is Giovanni we're talking about. Not some dirtbag."

Frost pointed to the box on Jane's desk.

"What now?" Jane muttered as she saw the sticker on top. “’From: Giovan--Arrrrrggggghhhh!"

Frost leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head. "It's okay to open. Security ran it; the package wouldn't have gotten this far otherwise."

"Then we know it's not a bomb, anyway," Jane said, as she pulled an Exacto utility knife out of her desk drawer. A few moments later, she found out what was in the box:

Bacon chocolate.

She saw a note with the boxed food and opened it.

Dear Jane,

I hope you like the bacon chocolate. It's international, too. A special snack for a special girl. Giovanni.


"International?" Frost said, as Jane examined the box.

"Made in Utah," she said with a roll of her eyes. Then she noticed Frost licking his lips. “What are you doing, Frost?”

"Drooling…I overslept this morning, enough to make me cut out breakfast, just so I wouldn't run late," he replied, holding the inside of his empty coffee cup out to her. "Haven’t had anything yet. So, if you have a problem with eating Giovanni's gift, I don't."

“I suppose you want me to get you a cup of coffee, too?”

“Please.” He gave her his mug and nodded towards the coffee machine at the back of the room. “They got pretty good coffee, too, for a change.”

“I know. It was mine,” Jane said, picking up her mug off her desk.

“I know. Dr. Isles told us to tell you thanks for it,” Frost said with a chuckle.

“Don’t push it,” Jane said, jokingly. As she walked towards the coffee maker, her thoughts went back to his accident. The official investigation by Boston P.D.’s Intelligence and Analysis department, along with her own unofficial investigation, found the two-car accident to be just that. Her gut was still suggesting that something was off about the couple in the other car, but without anything substantial to follow up on, her NEI bosses told her that she had more important things to work on.

They hadn’t told her to stop worrying about her friend.

She returned with her and Frost’s mugs full of Sainsbury’s Rich Blend hot, black coffee. Frost was munching on a piece of bacon chocolate. “Want a bite?” he said, holding out the box towards her.

“Why not?” she said, taking a piece, and a bite. “Not bad…but you can keep the chocolate,” she said. “Did I tell you what he sent to the house this morning?”

“Not a word,” Frost said. “Let me guess…a giant can of chowder.”

Jane chuckled. “Worse than that. A big, pink teddy bear bigger than the Green Monster.”

“No way.”

“Yep. They squeezed it through the door and now it’s taking up half the living room. I think I need to have a talk with Giovanni and put a stop to this—”

“You should’ve had a talk with him already, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with your mom.”

“You too, Frost? He’s harmless.”

“Compared to other guys, yeah. But not saying anything’s kind of encouraging him, don’t you think?”

“Which is why I’m going to talk to him.”

“When?”

“Soon.”

“Soon. Isn’t that what you said when he sent the singing telegram guy here?” Frost then sang, ‘Jaaaay-aaanee, I loooovvvee you. You’re the one, the one for me--’” He stopped when the wadded-up post-it note hit him on the nose. “Seriously. I know your mom’s probably blowing this out of proportion, but you might want to pay attention to her when she tells you to get him to back off.”

“Frost. Ma goes overboard in the best of times. Around the time he first called me back? She read a story in the Dispatch. Some guy who said he was a Confederate refugee came off the Railroad, met a coed at BCU, kept sending her gifts, wouldn't take no for an answer."

"I remember that. I heard NEI-5 put him in a dark hole after the assault.”

"You know I can't comment, right?" she said with a wink. “But Giovanni’s not like that. He’s just…”

“Stupid?”

“Dense, Frost,” she said, looking over towards a pair of empty desks. “You have any idea where Korsak and Frankie are?”

"They caught a case an hour ago," Frost said. "Dead girl found near the Navy Yard."

"That must be the scene Maura went to. You itching to get back in the field, Frost?”

“Yeah,” he said flatly.

His tone immediately got Jane’s attention, though she chose not to follow up on it then. “You’ll be out there before you know it, Frost, don’t worry.” She nodded towards the open folder next to his mug. “What’re you working on?”

"Cold case. The one from 12 years ago with the blacksmith, that the family alleged Paddy Doyle was behind, before refusing to press charges."

That one?”

"That one. The mother showed up at the crime scene, then clammed up when asked to testify.”

Jane’s Rocket smartphone began buzzing, and she answered it. This time, Frost heard only her side of the conversation.

“Hello? Ma? What? ... No, Ma! Stay away, don’t you dareMa!”

Jane abruptly stood up, jammed her phone into her pants pocket, and hurriedly threw on her suit jacket. “Frost, I gotta go. Frankie and Korsak's case made the news and she saw it on TV. She’s on her way to the crime scene to talk to Frankie. Can you text me the address!"

“North End Stadium. Where the Redcoats play.”

“Oh yeah, I know where that is,” she said, turning around before running out the door, leaving Frost behind. He sipped his coffee and made sure he knew where his CometPhone was, intending to text Jane if any pertinent information came into Homicide. Then, he sat back, looked at his monitor and at the cold case folder, and wondered how much longer he could do this.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:00 am 
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Chapter 2

Boston's North End
Mass TelCom Stadium


The logos of the Boston Redcoats professional football and North End FC professional soccer teams hung above the billboard-sized photos of the teams’ respective stars: Redcoats quarterback Matt Ryan and North End midfielder Lee Nguyen. Their images almost neatly framed the body of the young girl laying in the lawn, 40 meters from the stadium's Gate 4 entrance.

Boston P.D. vehicles cut off all entrances to the stadium, and officers were diverting traffic from the area. Detectives Vince Korsak and Frankie Rizzoli worked the crime scene accompanied by officers, and Dr. Isles had just arrived to begin her examination of the body.

Just outside the taped-off area stood television reporters and camerapersons; the crime beat reporters for the Globe, Herald and Dispatch; team and stadium employees; and a civilian who was doing her best to sneak past a man twice as big as herself.

"Ma'am, I’m sorry, but I can't let you through," said Officer Demetrius Strong, who was responsible for guarding the crime scene and keeping out those who didn't need to be there. "Authorized personnel only."

"But I need to speak to my son, Detective Frankie Rizzoli Junior," Angela Rizzoli told him. "My daughter is being threatened."

Strong, who was a former linebacker at Boston Cambridge University and in the Industrial National Football League before joining the force, knew Jane very well. He had heard about Jane’s situation through the grapevine, and figured she would have things well in hand. Still, he thought he should hear Angela out.

So she told him everything, what he needed to know and a lot that he didn't. His assurances that Jane could handle the situation and that the police would step in if needed didn’t reassure her, and she kept trying to get past the former linebacker. His partner, Officer Delia Manatos, arrived. She knew Angela personally, and the older woman immediately took advantage.

"Delia! I need to speak with Frankie. Jane may be in danger. Please!"

“Angela, I’ve heard about Jane and Giovanni—”

“Then you know she’s in danger! Please, Delia!” Angela looked over the younger woman’s shoulder and saw Maura, Frankie and Korsak in the distance. “MAURA! FRANKIE! VINCE!” she began shouting, over and over, to the point where Strong and Manatos separately began thinking about taking Angela back to Division One headquarters for her own good.

Thankfully for everyone involved, Jane arrived and — to both officers’ collective relief — took her mother off their hands.

"Ma! What on Earth are you doing?!?!?" Jane whispered while guiding Angela towards her sedan. "This is a crime scene. You can't just go up and talk to anyone here, Frankie or Korsak or Maura - or me - included."

"But I needed to talk to Frankie. Or someone."

"Why, Ma?"

"You, honey," Angela said. "Giovanni....I'm worried about you."

"Aw Ma..." Jane drew her mother into a hug, ignoring her reservations about doing so at a crime scene. "Ma...I'll be fine. Really. Giovanni's harmless—"

"No, he isn't," Angela said. "Didn't you read about the woman in the Maritimes Republic, in Nova Scotia?"

"What woman in Nova Scotia?"

"Her ex-boyfriend kept asking her out, after she kept saying no and kept ignoring him. He wouldn't take no for an answer." Angela looked like she was about to cry.

"What happened, Ma?"

Angela looked at the crime scene, where she saw Frankie and Korsak standing over the body. "Well, they got married."

"Married? That's not so bad. As long as it was consensual."

"No, they agreed. But they got into a fight, and she beat him up. She's still in jail."

"She beat him up?"

"I don't want you going to jail because you beat Giovanni up," Angela said. "Or him beating you up, or Maura--"

"Ma, come on. Gio--"

"Don't 'come on' me, Jane Clementine," Angela admonished. "This man knows you are married, and keeps bringing you presents. You need to put a stop to it. To him."

Jane took a deep breath, then motioned for Officer Manathos to come over, and made Angela promise she would not leave the sedan if Jane agreed to talk with her afterwards.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:34 am 
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Chapter 3

Finally satisfied that her mother wasn't going anywhere, Jane walked over towards where Korsak, Frankie and Maura were with the victim.

"Security guard found her an hour ago, lying there," Korsak said of the vic, who was dressed in a Boston Pilgrims T-shirt and yoga pants. "We've questioned the guard, other employees pulling into the parking lot over the past hour."

"No one heard anything out of the ordinary. No one saw anything unusual, other than the girl in the middle of the lawn," said Frankie.

"So, the guard finds her lying there, dead," Jane mused, looking over the victim. "No blood. Any idea how she was killed, Maura?"

Maura looked up at Jane with a quizzical look.

"Care to guess, Dr. Isles?" Jane teased her wife.

"Her heart stopped beating." Maura said, straight, as Korsak and Frankie chuckled, while Jane grinned.

"Maura Isles, making a joke at a crime scene," she said, winking right at Maura. "What will she do next?"

"One thing I will not do, Detective Rizzoli, is guess," Maura replied, seriously. "And you know I cannot determine a cause of death until I complete my examination at the morgue."

"God forbid you guess, Dr. Isles," Jane quipped. "Do you see anything out of the ordinary on the vic - besides her heart not beating."

"No, I do not," Maura replied. "No wounds of any kind, no external bleeding. No marks on her body."

"Maybe she was poisoned," Frankie guessed.

"Or she simply dropped dead of a physical defect of some kind," Korsak said.

"Looks like you guys have your work cut out," Jane said. "Korsak. I'm gonna borrow Frankie for a minute."

Jane and Frankie walked a short distance away, stopping next to the stadium, and she filled him in on their mother’s arrival. "Ma's convinced Giovanni is up to no good and is some kind of threat to me," she said. "She showed up here to talk to you."

Frankie looked over towards Jane's sedan, where Angela was sitting in the front seat, next to Officer Manathos. "I agree with you she shouldn’t have come here, but I agree with Ma, a little bit—"

"It's Giovanni," Jane said.

"Look," Frankie replied. "I don't think he's a real threat either, to do anything other than be an annoying pain in the ass. He does keep coming back, again and again...he's like that dog, from the battery commercial. Never stops."

"Giovanni's not a dog," Jane said.

"You're defending him."

“No, I'm not!"

"Yeah, you are. How big was that Cuddly Bear, anyway?"

"About as big as Matt Ryan’s giant picture right above us," Jane said. "Frankie, you're right about him an annoying pain in the ass...but that's all he is."

"Don't you think it's time to put a stop to it?" Frankie said. "Tell him you and Maura are married."

"Tell him? Frankie. Our engagement and wedding announcements were in the Dispatch. Maura was on the front cover of The Advocate. We marched in the Pride parade. And neither of us date men."

"Well," Frankie said, before pausing a beat. "He only reads the Sports section of the paper, the only magazines he reads are ones with girls, engines, or both, and he was probably at a drag race when the Pride Festival was going on. And after Maura turned him down? He fixated on you."

"Arrrgggghhhh!" Jane said, exasperated. "Frankie. What am I gonna do?"

"Tell him you're married," Frankie said. "Pull out the wedding album, take him to the clerk's office and show him the marriage certificate, I don't know--"

Jane's phone buzzed, and she held up her hand. "Let me take this," she said, tapping a button on her Rocket phone to answer the call.

"Rizzoli...yes....yes...WHAT?!?...WHEN?!?"

Jane's yelling got the attention of Maura, who motioned for her assistants to get the body and load it on the gurney, and of Korsak, who had just finished taking photos of the scene.

"How long?" Jane said with her eyes bugged out. "No, no. Keep it there. I'm on my way. Thanks, Frost." She put her phone back in her jacket pocket and looked at Maura, her brother and Korsak. "You're not going to believe this."

"Believe what, Jane?" Maura said.

Division One HQ

"A genuine 1965 Industrial Motors Detroit," Jane said, as she, Maura, Frost, Korsak, Frankie and Angela surrounded the car, parked in front of the police station. "One of the classic North American sports cars."

"And how do you know this?" Frost said. "You're not even into cars. Much less a muscle car like this."

"DiNozzo. He's a movie nut, told me that car's been in 39 different movies from 1965 through 2012," Jane said. "And now it's mine."

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:53 pm 
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Chapter 4

After arranging for the Detroit to be parked in the building's garage, Jane went to the second-floor office leased by NEI.

"Look who showed up,” she heard right outside the NEI office front door. “How many years has it been since you punched a time clock, Rizzoli?"

NEI agent Joey Grant sat at his desk, punching a couple of buttons on the keyboard of his personal terminal [1] to hide what he was working on. He then turned to Jane, who stood in the doorway. "We got rid of the coffee machine since you were here last time."

"Ha ha, Grant," Jane said, walking over to his desk. "Get up. I need your terminal. Don't worry. I won't tell Hoodie about the porn."

"Hilarious, Rizzoli," Grant replied. "They could get you your own terminal, if you'd put in a requisition form. Hell, they'd put it down in Homicide. You spend all your time there anyway. Why don’t you ever come up and say ‘hi’?"

"I do, sometimes," Jane said. "You're not around. Besides, I like my desk, which happens to be in Homicide."

Grant chuckled. "Wanna give me one guess who you're looking for info on?"

"You already know, Grant, and his car's in the garage. Now, get up and move over," Jane said, as Grant obliged and let her log into her account. A few minutes later, Jane and Grant had over a dozen files on Giovanni Gilberti open. "What are you up to, Giovanni?" she muttered as Grant looked over her shoulder.

"Guy's lovesick," Grant said, helpfully. "And dense. Even a brick wall would be able to see you and Maura are in love, and married. Didn't he go to the wedding? Or hear about it?"

“He obviously didn’t get the invitation,” she deadpanned. Five minutes later, Jane's phone rang. Maura was calling her.

"Rizzoli. Maur?...really?...okay. I'm on my way down." Jane ended the call, jumped up, and was halfway out the door before stopping at Grant’s repeated calls to her.

"Jane, I can get that. I'll talk to Maura. You stay here and find out what's up with Loverboy. What am I talking to her about, by the way?"

Jane held up her palm. "I have this, Grant. Run his credit and debit cards, see what else he's purchased in the last week. Tell me if he's rented a hot-air balloon or bought another cartful of bacon chocolate."

"Another cartful of bacon chocolate--" Grant said as Jane ran down the hallway towards the elevator.

Massachusetts Region Chief Medical Examiner’s Morgue

Two floors below, Jane briskly walked off the elevator towards the entrance to the morgue. She saw Bruno, an NEI agent who was assigned to guard the entrance to the morgue and its adjacent laboratory.

"Hey. Saw that video you linked to on Chirp," Jane said to Bruno, who moonlighted as a professional wrestler. "You're way better than that Sheamus O'Farrell guy."

"Hoodie said Titan can't give me a push, and he thinks I have a great future in the intelligence community," said Bruno in a whisper. "You better talk to your wife." Jane looked inside and saw Maura and her assistant, senior criminalist Susie Chang, conducting the autopsy on the victim.

"Something with the vic from the stadium?"

"Ask her about the Hartford Seven."

Jane’s complexion went cold. “Jesus.”

Maura explained to her how they thought the victim had died, by a combination of heart failure and suffocation. “The heart failure came from cyclostatics five times normally prescribed to a typical heart patient while the suffocation came from forced inhalation of helium,” Maura said. "I also saw evidence of duct tape over her nose and mouth, and where someone removed the tape and tried to remove evidence of it.”

"So, they gave her drugs to induce a heart attack, and made her breathe helium, then taped her mouth and nose so she couldn't exhale it, or breathe in oxygen?" Jane asked; Maura nodded. "You remember the Hartford Seven case?"

"I do," Maura said, matter of factly. "Seven co-eds between 19 and 22 were found dead in a Hartford College dorm room. This occurred seven years ago, before I became Chief M.E. for Massachusetts. I was an assistant to the Connecticut Region Medical Examiner, who was injured in an automobile accident that morning. The Massachusetts Region Chief Medical Examiner at the time, Dr. T. Pike, was brought in to replace her, and I assisted him."

"You worked with Pike? Oh boy. That must've been a blast," Jane quipped.

"It was not an unpleasant experience, unlike when he was terminated from his position and I was appointed as his replacement," Maura replied. "The unpleasant part of it came after our examination."

"What happened?"

"The Hartford detectives, and NEI agents, found those girls were murdered by Confederate agents. They were marked, Jane, to be sold into slavery either as call girls in Atlanta, or as sex servants for Soviet oligarchs."

"Sex servants," Jane mused while trying to restrain her growing anger. "Forty-seven UCNE females, and 16 males, either teenagers or college students have gone missing in the past 30 years. Fifty-six of them were found, 20 alive, 36 dead, seven still unaccounted for."

"Correct, Jane. The Confederate State Security Agency seems--"

"Cissies, Maura," Jane interjected, a bit sharply. "Call them what they are."

"Very well...the Cissies seem to target the UCNE for this purpose more than any other North American country."

"They target California and the Plains too, Maur. They target their enemies specifically on this thing," Jane said. "California's had 29 women go missing since the 1960s. The Plains has lost 26 women this way since the North American War. If they resist, the Cissies kill them. Just like this."

"Yes," Maura said, looking at her victim. "Her name is Victoria Adams, and she was a third-year psychology student at BCU. She had a 4.0 GPA, and worked extensively with underprivileged children here in Boston."

"Just a kid with her whole life ahead of her," Jane mused. "I'll get with Frost and Korsak, coordinate with Homicide, see if we can find the bastard who did this to her."

[1] What people in this universe call a personal computer.

[2] After the incident involving former Boston PD detective Bobby Marino, and the assault on Division One headquarters by a CSS-backed local gang, NEI established an office in the building, and put a roaming agent on the premises and another in Maura's morgue.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:24 am 
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Chapter 5

Boston Police Department Division One Station
Homicide


Although Frost wasn’t yet cleared to return to field work, nothing prevented him from using his technological skills. When Jane, Korsak and Frankie arrived back at the station, Frost was ready for them inside Homicide’s virtual ‘murder board’ room. He had footage from three of the stadium's cameras and a city camera at a nearby intersection dividing up the room’s main 180-centimeter flat screen.

Each shot showed a large man dressed almost completely in white, head to toe: jacket, pants, shoes, and a luchador mask with gold highlights. He was seen stepping out of a U-Haul van parked on the street in front of the stadium’s west gate at 5:03 a.m. He then opened up the back doors and pulled the victim’s corpse out of the van; he then laid the body on the road to close the doors before he carried it away from the van. The footage then showed him walk across the stadium lawn and lay the body down on the grass, then run back to the van before driving away.

“Son of a bitch just dumped her,” Jane grumbled. “But why there?”

“Looks like he wanted her to be found,” Frost said. “Wasn’t that part of the Hartford Seven killer’s M.O.?” [1]

“It was,” Korsak said. “Early morning dumps in public places where the victim would be discovered with an hour or two. One of the Hartford Seven vics was left downtown in front of a big insurance building, another on the Hartford University campus where students would be sure to find the body on their way to class.”

“Korsak, you remember the Hartford Seven killer dressing in all white?” Jane asked.

“No. The killer did try to stay anonymous. Wearing that get-up would definitely draw attention,” Korsak said.

"This guy dumped our vic in a public place and wore that…whatever that is,” Frankie said. “This guy definitely wants attention. I'll go check on the U-Haul."

As Frankie walked back to his desk, Korsak took a closer look at the image of the suspect in the lower-right of the screen. "I'm guessing he's about two meters, 125 kilos [2]. Big guy, big like a wrestler. Frost, give me a shot of his face.”

Two still images of the front of the suspect’s mask went up on a side flat-screen. Although the images were slightly blurry, there was enough detail for Korsak to make out the distinct gold patterns around the eye holes and along the cheeks and forehead. “I'm going to make a phone call of my own."

"Call who?" Frost asked.

"A friend of mine knows the guy who makes masks for wrestlers," Korsak said. "He works out of his house in Chinatown. I'll give him a call, see if he sold one to a man fitting our description."

Jane decided to hang back and watch Frost walk back to his desk, paying attention to his prosthetic leg. After Frost was cleared for desk duty, she kept a close eye on him. Jane observed that at times he seemed to be his old, gregarious self; at other times, he seemed subdued, almost depressed. Although his doctors and physical therapists had praised his quick adaptation to his new leg, Boston Police wanted to be certain he could work in the field as well as he had before the accident before allowing him to resume field duty.

Frost’s supervisor, Lieutenant Sean Cavanaugh, was rooting for him as much as anyone, even as he held Frost to the same standards as the other detectives. Cavanaugh lobbied for Frost to keep his rank and pay while following his bosses’ directives to keep Frost on a trial basis. Frost was aware of this, and Jane thought that he was being distracted by it. In her view, instead of using it as motivation to prove them wrong, he allowed it to affect his mood.

She watched him with as critical of an eye as anyone — sometimes a little more harshly — but with his best interests in mind. Jane wanted her friend back to his old self, but didn’t want him back in the field before he was ready. And, even though Jane didn’t really didn’t have any say on the matter, right now she didn’t think he was ready.

"Frost. You, Maura, and me. Let's go run in the Marathon this year," Jane said as she walked up to his desk. He ignored the comment. "C'mon. I'll get Maura to rename the charity. Or we won’t make you wear the P.U.K.E. T-shirt," Jane continued, lightly punching him on the arm.

"I don't do marathons anymore," he said, pulling up records on recent U-Haul rentals on his terminal. "Maybe we can puke for charity at a bowling alley."

"Ewww," Jane said, with a smile. "Though I would like to see Maura bowl. With those ugly shoes from the counter."

"She'll buy her own - and ours," Frost said. "You'll never get her to use that spray stuff anyway."

Both chuckled, then Jane stepped over to her desk and pulled out a pack of Lifesavers candy. "You okay, Frost?" She offered him a piece, which he readily accepted.

"I'm fine, Jane," he said, glancing downward at his prosthesis. "Really. I'm doing okay."

"It's not the same without you in the field," Jane replied.

"Frankie's doing great; he's getting experience," Frost added. "If I hadn't...been out for so long, he might still be in Vice, working under Martinez."

"Now he's here, and so are you," Jane continued. "I want to see you back out there. Taking down dirtbags, running them down. When do you start running?"

Frost didn’t respond for a moment. "When are you going to do something about Giovanni?"

Jane pursed her lips. She not only knew Frost was right, she knew he wasn’t ready to talk about moving on past where he was at emotionally. She decided she would drop the latter subject.

"I thought you agreed with me," she said.

"The bacon chocolate he brought you is good, but how can that guy afford a car as nice as a fully-restored ’65 Detroit?"

“Well—"

"’He's not stalking me’, you say, ‘he's not stalking my wife, he's not acting threateningly or aggressively’. What he’s sending you is ridiculous. Giant cuddly bears. Cars. Bacon chocolate shipped in from Utah, of all places. Have you forgotten about the video he posted on Chirp? Worst Steven Tyler imitation ever, and he butchered Dream On. Jane, if this was anyone else you’d had thrown him into one of Hoodie’s [3] Boston gulags by now.”

“No! I wouldn’t put him there. Probably a jail cell," Jane said.

"Your mom called me before you got back," Frost said as Jane groaned. " She also talked to me downstairs at the cafe yesterday."

"Come on, Frost. Ma's blowing things out of proportion--"

"Maybe," Frost said. "You feel safe talking to him."

"Giovanni? Yeah. Of course. He won't do anything."

"Then maybe you need to talk to him, set him straight, pardon my pun," Frost said. "Tell him you're in love with Maura, show him the certificate. And bring someone with you."

"What?" Jane said. "Come on, Frost. Giovanni's not gonna beat me up. He couldn’t beat me up. And I don't appreciate the chauvinism coming from you, of all people."

"Jane. I'm not being chauvinistic. I'm saying don't go into a situation like that without backup," Frost replied. "Hell, while Frankie and Korsak are working this case, call Giovanni up, tell him to meet you somewhere to talk. This afternoon."

"This afternoon." Jane raised her eyebrows. "Dead vic, carbon copy of the Hartford Seven case. I'm involved with this, too."

"All the reason to get Giovanni squared away," Frost said, "so we can catch that bastard."

Jane saw the fire in Frost's eyes, and smiled. "If it gets you off your ass and walking with that plastic peg leg of yours, deal," she said. "Grant and I are running checks on him anyway."

"Find anything unusual?"

"Grant's still running--" she stopped talking when she heard a loud trumpet behind her.

She turned, seeing a mariachi band between the elevator and the entrance into Homicide. The trumpet player was inside the door, and everyone, on a phone or not, had their eyes glued to the scene.

Even Cavanaugh came out of his office to see what was going on. Grant, looking for Jane, stepped off the elevator and walked into the back of an accordion player.

"Jane Clementine Rizzoli?" yelled the trumpet player.

After briefly considering pointing to Detective Riley Cooper, or even Frankie, Jane raised her hand. Without a word, the band broke into song; when it finished, almost everyone broke into applause, while Jane wanted to hide underneath the floor.

Then the vihuela guitarist - and one of the singers - stepped forward, pulled a card out of his jacket, and handed it to Jane.

"Giovanni Gilberti requests your presence for a lovely dinner, senorita," he said, "tonight at 8 p.m. At which he will make an announcement."

Then the band moved to leave, but Jane and Grant stopped them. After interrogating all 11 members, they determined that Giovanni had hired them the day before, paid them in cash, and gave the bandleader the card he wanted Jane to have. And that Giovanni made him swear not to tell him the location, but it was on the card.

"So, open it," Grant said, as he and Frost looked over her shoulders.

She opened the card.

Jane Clementine Rizzoli

I request your presence tonight at 8 p.m.
For a lovely dinner, wine and song
After which I will make an announcement
Meet me at The Dirty Robber


"The Dirty Robber??? That's the best he could come up with?" Jane shouted. "Jeez. He's seen Maura and I in our booth - hers and my booth - a hundred times. We're supposed to go there tonight - or were, until this case--"

"And you'll go there tonight," Cavanaugh said, inserting himself into the conversation. "I just got off the phone with your boss. Word about the young woman in Dr. Isles' morgue has gone all the way to the top - to the Marshal General himself. He wants our best people on it, and that includes you, Rizzoli."

"Cava - sir. I apologize for all this, I'll take care--"

"Agent Rizzoli, I believe you," Cavanaugh said. "That you'll take care of it, and that Gilberti is harmless. But if he persists, that's interference we can't afford to have, not if the Confederates are involved. So - go to dinner, tell him you're married to someone else, and end this. So, you can get back to doing what you're best at."

As Cavanaugh walked away, Grant looked at the card.

"Sounds simple to me, Jane," Frost said. "If you can get him to believe you."

"She better," Grant said.

"Or you'll get him, Jane?" Frost quipped.

"No, the Marshal General will," Jane said. "Right now, he's technically interfering with an NEI agent. Agency protocol is if the situation is non-threatening, let the agent handle it. If the perpetrator continues to act out, even in a non-threatening manner, then the agency gets involved. And if this case is as big as I think it might be – then Hoodie might just throw him into one of those Boston gulags."

[1] modus operandi in Latin, method of operation in English.

[2] For readers/viewers not using the metric system, the suspect is 6-foot-6, 275 pounds.

[3] Hoodie is a nickname for the Marshal-General of New England Intelligence.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:50 am 
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After a long hiatus, I'm happy to announce this story will be completed soon.

I'll repost previously published chapters, revised for grammar, content and clarity, ahead of new chapters to be posted soon. Thanks for your understanding and your support!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:30 pm 
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The revised versions of the prologue and chapters 1-5 have been posted above.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:31 pm 
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Continuing with the revisions...

Boston
Giovanni Gilberti's apartment


"Hey man, I've learned my lesson," Giovanni said as he stood in his kitchen, straightening his tie.

"What's that, bro?" replied his guest, who sat at the table eating a Paul Revere's Sub sandwich. Neither of them made note of the stink from the man's work jacket and shirt, although the woman Giovanni was headed to see would.

"Don't lick chicks on the cheek," Giovanni replied, and his guest raised his eyebrows.

"What the hell kinda lesson is that?" he replied with a laugh. "What in hell are you into, bro?"

"Chicks don't like you to ask them if you can lick them. Well - one or two are cool with it. The others ain't. Too many of them don't like it to make it worth your while."

The guest shook his head. "If you say so, bro," he said. "Where's this place again you're meeting your lady at?"

"The Dirty Robber," Giovanni said. "That's where Jane and her friend meet up at all the time?"

"You make sure the 'friend' ain't gonna be there? Thought you said the friend was a dy--"

"Dude!" Giovanni interjected. "Don't call Dr. Isles that. It ain't cool, okay?"

For the first time since he began working and hanging out with Gilberti, he noticed the guy pissed off in a non-work situation. "Alright, sorry. The friend--"

"Dr. Isles."

"Doctor Isles, she likes chicks, right?"

"Yeah. But I don't use slurs. That's homophobic. I'm no homophobe."

"Me neither, bro. I like it when chicks are into chicks, you know?" the guest winked, and Giovanni grinned.

"Me too, dude...but I like chicks more who are into dudes. Like me." Giovanni picked his phone off the counter, and looked for Jane's phone number. "You can shower here if you want. You told me earlier you've going on a date?"

I got a date alright. "Yeah. Late date. I think the place I'm going to meet her is a ... a concert. Yeah. Starts at 9."

"Cool," Giovanni said. "What's her name?"

"J.C. ...JayCee," the guest said. "Good lookin', too. Tall, dark haired, smokin' hot."

"Really?" Giovanni said. "Got a pic?"

"Ah...uh, no," the guest replied. "Deleted it accidentally. I'll be sure to take a pic at the concert, though...aint'cha got a date to get to?"

"Yeah," Giovanni said, heading towards the front door. "I'll give you a buzz if me and Jane come here to...continue the date...if you catch my drift." Giovanni chuckled.

The guest laughed. "Or I’ll text you if JayCee and I come back here to continue our date," he said with a wink. Giovanni laughed, wished him luck, and left.

The guest pulled out his smartphone, heading to the guest room where he had stayed for the past eight weeks. He noticed the slash on his arm starting to heal up - he told Giovanni it came from a screwdriver he bumped up against in the garage and he bought it.

He opened a secure app, punched a few lines to bypass the public UniNet and onto a secured underground connection, then pinged his associate.

* you in position?
da am at the bar eating dinner
the police discovered the body quickly
* good that's what we wanted right
did they see you
* nobody saw me i was in and out of there before anybody from the stadium could've seen me
passersby?
* hell no street was empty no crowds of any size at that corner except for game day
how is your injury
* healing up told goofus I cut myself on a straight screwdriver
and he believed you
* hell yeah he's a goofass he thinks the woman's interested in him you know how much money he spent trying to win her over - and she's married to another woman
what I am interested in is the success of this operation
* you think i'm not???
I'm interested in one thing, 'Bubba'
* money
* women?
those are...what you would refer to as side benefits. secondary to this operation
* don't worry, i've got this
good. your employers did not make me your handler as a joke.
* i know your background, tovarisch. and you know mine
and we know how seriously your, our employers regard this operation.
* yeah, no dirty cops, no mongrel street gangs
how reliable is your intelligence on the agent?
* pretty good. he's told me a lot. they kept in touch until he got weird on her
and you consider this to be a good use of our time?
* look. he can get me closer to her than if I was a random stranger. nei still looks the other way when friends of friends interact with their people. this way, i can get close to them both, off him, take her
your intelligence had better be right
* i've done this job for 12 years, son, kicking ass and taking names by myself. I make my own luck
that is good, ‘bubba’. you would not want to be unlucky if you fail
*just stay out of trouble, ok? we'll have her secured and be on our way back to hotlanta by midnight


Outside Giovanni's apartment

The 24-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Suburban - and the 30-year-old man in the passenger seat furiously typing away at his laptop - were both ready to roll on a moment's notice.

"I've downloaded the conversation," said NEI-5 agent Paul Cho. "They really think they're on a secured channel. I gave the KGB and the CSS more credit than this. You're sure we're not being played?" Cho chuckled when he said it, but NEI-5 agent Linda Houghton noted the concern in his eyes.

"You have nothing to worry about, Cho," she said. "People way above either of our pay grades have looked into the guy, and he's the real deal. So's the guy he spoke to."

"Who's supposed to be at The Dirty Robber," Cho replied. "Why not bring him in now?"

"He won't talk. He also has pull with the Soviet Embassy. We move now, we blow our cover. We catch him trying to abduct one of our own - or worse - we have him, dead to rights," she said. "That's 101-level stuff, Cho. Your nose has been behind that laptop way too long."

Jane and Maura's home

Maura went through her, and Jane's, closets for more than a half-hour looking for the right outfit for her 'date'. Satisfied with her choices, Maura gave them to Jane, then looked her over with a keen eye after Jane finished dressing.

"A simple, but elegant, black dress from Pierre Paul with the earrings I found at Hartson's that match your hair and eyes perfectly," Maura said, as Jane stood there in their bedroom. "The necklace - not too flashy, but elegant--"

"And it would pay for an entire semester's worth of tuition, books, room and board for Cailin at BCU," Jane said.

"Yes, but she’ll be on scholarship at the University of Indianapolis, and the Todd family is looking after her there," Maura said of her recently-discovered younger sister. "I do see your point, although the cost of the necklace would also cover incidentals, assuming she lived conservatively and refrained from alcohol and drug use. And, also, consumption of caffeine, especially having the use only of my kidney."

"Oh nooooooooo, Maura, we wouldn't want her to abuse your kidney with a latte," Jane cracked. "How is she doing, anyway? Last I heard she moved into her dorm room."

"She is getting to know her - our - real mother, and the entire Todd family is involved in her life, either directly or virtually. Now put your heels on."

"I can't wear pumps?" Jane said.

"Those are patent leather pumps from Ingrid Christiane," Maura pouted. "They match the rest of your outfit so perfectly. Now put them on. Please."

Jane couldn't resist 'please'.

"Is it too late to call Gibbs and fly him in to Gibbs-slap Giovanni a dozen times until he leaves me alone?"

"We're not going to 'Gibbs-slap' Giovanni nor resort to any other form of violence," Maura said. "Now let me check your makeup." Maura looked over her wife's face - a touch up of mascara here, a brush of powder there, and lip gloss. Then she took Jane by the hand and led her to their full-length mirror, and the agent was stunned.

"Wow...wow. You did me up great, Maura," Jane said. "Too great. Giovanni's gonna tackle me...this is Giovanni. I should be in a blouse and jeans--"

"Who said I did this for him, Jane Clementine Rizzoli?" Maura said innocently, then brushed her lips against Jane's cheek, before blowing in her ear. "Later. Tonight," she whispered, seductively, before stepping back and switching her demeanor into business mode.

"Right now, Jane, you have a job to do. Get rid of Giovanni. Tell him you and I are married, forever and ever. Spill the beans about it. Knock some sense into his head," Maura said, sounding more like her sister Kate. "Don't put up with any more crap from him. Gibbs-smack him if you have to. Who's your backup?"

"Backup?" Jane said. "Come on. I'm meeting Giovanni for dinner at The Dirty Robber. I'm overdressed. We're gonna order burgers and fries--"

"You'll order from whatever the waitress suggests, which I suspect will be healthy and organic--"

"Maura. Did you...what did you do?"

"I merely contacted the restaurant, spoke with the manager, and requested that the waitress on duty provide you with a specialized menu," Maura stated.

"You called The Dirty Robber?"

"I have, as always, your best interest in mind," Maura said.

"You called The Dirty Robber?"

"Speaking of your best interests," Maura continued. "I called Detective Frost and asked him to dispose of the bacon chocolate Giovanni left for you at the station."

"You called The Dir--you called Frost—how’d you find out about the bacon chocolate?"

"He told me,” Maura said. “He also told me you ate some of it—”

“It was just a few pieces,” Jane lied.

“You ate six pieces,” Maura continued. “Assuming you consumed your usual borderline healthy lunch fare, based on the 1,272 calories; 84 grams of fat; 48 grams of saturated fat; 60 milligrams of cholesterol; and over 1,500 milligrams of sodium you consumed in the six slices Detective Frost said you ate, I estimate you have consumed over 2,500 calories so far today," Maura said.

“Did Frost tell you I gave him Giovanni’s bacon chocolate?”

“Yes, and I repeated the information on the caloric intake and recommended fresh fruit, celery and carrots as alternate snacks.”

"Of course, you did. What else did you do?"

“Pardon me?”

“There’s something else that you did,” Jane said, playfully jabbing a finger at Maura. “I know it. So spill the beans.”

"Oh … oh, yes! I ordered a treadmill."

"A what?"

"Yes. When you return from your dinner, you will change into your running outfit and run for an hour. That should burn at least 600 calories. Between that, and the other physical activities I have in store for us, and the salad you will eat on your 'date'--"

"Oh look, Maura. I'm going to be late for my 'date'," Jane said, exaggeratedly, pointing to Maura's watch. "I better leave so I get there in time to dump Giovanni and eat whatever tree leaves you ordered for me, then get back home to run for an hour and do whatever 'physical activities' you have in mind. Speaking of, I have a question."

"As do I."

"Me first," Jane said. "How many calories can you burn during sex?"

Maura's eye-roll made Jane wonder how much her twin sister Kate Todd - and their older sister Rachel Todd Cranston - had rubbed off on her. A few years ago, Jane discovered that Maura was the long-lost daughter of an Indianapolis couple (and the twin sister of a federal agent), which she much preferred to the story that Boston mobster Paddy Doyle had conjured up regarding Maura being his and Hope Martin’s daughter.

"Now I have a question," Maura said. "Who's your backup?"

"Backup?"

"Yes. Even you would not go into that situation by yourself."

"Frost," Jane said. "Who's probably hoarding that bacon chocolate you asked him to 'dispose' of. And I suspect he's not my only backup." Jane narrowed her eyes at her wife.

"Hmm?" Maura tried to look innocent.

"Frost is supposed to be working the case with Korsak and Frankie," Jane said. "So, it can't be one of them, not unless they've solved it in the last two hours. So come on. Spill. The. Beans." Jane raised an eyebrow.

"Well," Maura said. "I asked Agent Grant if he knew of someone who had a surveillance van that wasn't being used."

"Joey..."

"And he assured me that NEI would provide one, free of charge, and he would be pleased to help Detective Frost in your, ah--"

"Surveillance."

"Well...to keep you company," Maura said. "He, I, and two more of your colleagues."

"Watching from a van."

"Well, yes," Maura said.

"While Frost eats a burger and fries, and I munch on calorie-free grass and twigs breaking up with Giovanni."

"Again, yes."

"We better get going, then," Jane said. "Running on that treadmill of yours for an hour already sounds more fun."

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