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Rating: PG

3. Father-Daughter

“You think they’ll let me rent a room here? Between you and my mother there’s no reason to leave.”

Patrick Doyle smiled. “You’re a big shot M.E., I’m sure you can.”

“I’m not sure about ‘big shot.’ What I am is happy to see you off of life support.”

“Eh, a couple shots to the chest never stopped me for long.”

“I’m sure.”

“That look of regret definitely ain’t over me. Want to tell me who its for?”

“Just someone else I know that doesn’t let gun shots keep them down.”

“How is Jane? Have you spoken to her?”

She followed his eyes to a large bouquet in the corner. Maura needn’t be surprised.

Maura nodded. “I have.” She didn’t really want to get into this with him. Despite all the drama happening between herself and Doyle, she couldn’t forget that it wasn’t long ago when she cursed his name.

“You don’t have to talk to me about this, but I will say that you shouldn’t stay mad at her much longer. She was trying to protect you.”

Maura couldn’t restrain an eye roll, a habit she ironically enough had gotten from Jane. “Protect me,” she muttered. “You two are more alike than you think.”

Doyle cringed. “I don’t know how true that is, but she was trying to do what I asked.”

“Like I’ve said to you both countless times, I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” She paused. “You mean to tell me you forgive her for shooting you, almost killing you?”

“She’s a cop, Maura, she was doing her job.” Doyle’s eyes grew heavy under the weight of the pain medication. “Frankly,” he continued as he drifted off to sleep. “She could shoot me a thousand times if she thought it was to keep you safe.”

Maura sat for long moments watching her…father sleep. It was hard thinking of him like that when she’d had a father all her life. So now she had…two fathers. It would take some getting used to, but she couldn’t say she hated the idea.

That notion was far easier to accept than him being on Jane’s side in all this. She’d shot him, nearly mortally wounded him, to think he could look passed all that just for Maura’s sake was staggering.

Despite that, as much she hated to admit it, Jane had done this all in the name of her safety. Maura couldn’t ignore that. Truth was she’d thought about that fact, thought about it a lot. She knew Jane would do anything to protect her, but it was the lengths at which she would be willing to go. Maura would never be comfortable being saved at someone else’s expense. Some corner of her brain even mourned the loss of the misguided fire fighter that started this sorted chain of events.

It was a dreaded juxtaposition between gratitude for Jane’s selflessness and a desire to disentangle Jane from her life. Gratitude won time and again because the thought of not having Jane Rizzoli in her life would smart like some knife to the heart.

No these few weeks had been more than enough for Maura to sort out how she was feeling. It was obvious to her now that she didn’t want Jane in her life she needed her there.

Heaving a final heavy sigh, Maura patted her…father’s hand and exited the hospital. She had to be well rested so that the following day she could begin to swallow her words, and her pride, in an effort to win back her best friend.