DISCLAIMER: Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles belong to a truly wonderful writer, Tess Gerritsen, and TNT. I'm just borrowing them for a little not-for-profit fun.
“Christmas on the Fourth of July”
By The Bard of New Mexico
Feed the bard: firstname.lastname@example.org yes, please :o)
Maura Isles, Chief Medical Examiner, uncovered the basket and found it full of packing peanuts. She rooted around underneath and pulled out a snow globe. She lifted it, shook it, and smiled when she saw that the “snow” was actually multicolored glitter simulating fireworks bursting over the U.S. Capitol Building and Washington, D.C.'s monuments at night. Jane Rizzoli, the dark-haired detective, smiled too.
“Thank you, Jane.”
“Just call it the Rizzolis' Christmas in July. You know how tempers flare in the heat and mugginess of summer?” Maura nodded. “Now's as good a time as any to give small goofy gifts to relieve some of the stress.”
“But I didn't get you anything,” Maura protested as she opened the refrigerator and gave Jane an ice cold can of her favorite beer.
Jane held up her can in a toasting gesture. ”What do you think this is?”
Maura smiled and poured herself a glass of wine. They headed to the backyard where Frankie was busy grilling steaks and Angela Rizzoli arranged side dishes on the patio table. Jane peeked into a bowl. ”Muffins, Ma?”
“ So I wanted something a little fancier than dinner rolls tonight,” Angela replied as she swatted at a pair of feet with flip-flops on them that were headed toward a chair next to Jane. ”Keep your feet off the furniture,” she admonished her daughter, but Jane ignored her.
“ Hey, Ma, remember last year? I got you that old tightrope walker toy.” She turned her attention to Maura. ”It was great! There was this crank on the side and when you turned it, the tightrope walker moved across the rope.” Jane made a face. ”It was a lot better than that Pepto Bismol-pink piggy bank Ma got me the year before that.”
Maura grinned widely at the thought of Jane owning anything pink, much less a pink piggy bank. Angela went back into the house to get the salad and Jane leaned across the table to whisper to Maura, ”After that, she was lucky I didn't give her a weather balloon.”
Jane rummaged around in her shorts' deep pockets. ”One more surprise.” She pulled out a box, opened it, and took two sticks out. She gave one to a delighted Maura.
Suddenly, Jane took up a defensive position and challenged Maura to a mock duel with the unlit sparklers.
“Better not. You could poke someone's eye out.”
“Then it's a good thing you're a doctor.... Lay on, MacDuff!”
Maura's eyes widened in surprise. ”You know Shake-- OUCH!” she complained when Jane sneaked past her guard and thwacked her on the wrist.
“Touche!” Jane called.
“Stop it, you two! Dinner's ready,” Angela said as she laid the salad bowl in the middle of the table.
When everyone was seated and served, Maura and the Rizzolis lifted their glasses/cans and wished each other, ”Happy Fourth of July!”