The Angstiest Slow Burn Rizzles EverThe Angstiest Slow Burn Rizzles Ever is Marmite and Mistletoe by ArcadiaArden, a crisp canon tale of romance and intrigue that delivers exactly what you’ve come to expect from Rizzoli and Isles.

Set sometime after S5E12 of Rizzoli & Isles, Marmite and Mistletoe takes place during Christmastime, and besties Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles have a tricky new case to solve.

A young mother and child are murdered right in front of Macy’s and the clues are difficult for Jane to make sense of. To complicate her thought process, Jane is also wrestling with her acceptance of Maura’s new boyfriend, Jack. She doesn’t want to lose her best friend, but she also wants Maura to be happy in her new relationship.

Or does she?

No! Of course she doesn’t! But it takes Jane – and Maura – a little time to figure out their feelings for one another, all while solving not just the case from Macy’s, but the mysterious death of a homeless woman from Jane’s past.

Soon, Jane and Maura are tested by the case and by their changing friendship until some mistletoe and an old can of Marmite prod them towards real answers.

Pros

If you’ve read a lot of wlw fan fiction, angst is nothing new to you. This story begins with plenty of it as Jane and Maura try to untangle their convoluted feelings for one another, but that’s not what makes it singularly notable.

The characterizations are *supreme*. Yes, Jane Rizzoli is a tough cop with a heart of gold, but this Jane aches with a need to do the right thing for Maura even if it means sacrificing her own happiness. Of course Maura Isles is a genius who doesn’t always catch the social queues of her compatriots, but this Maura burns with a need to understand emotions that confound her – like Jane’s sudden reticence. Yet as they battle their confusing feelings, their friendship and working synergy remain as stalwart as ever.

Angela Rizzoli is spot on with her concern about how they will fare in a relationship with one another, and even Frankie and Nina deliver lines that could have come right out of a canon episode.

And just like a Rizzoli & Isles episode, the mystery of the story’s murder organically unfolds piece by piece. Finally, you can’t have a Christmas episode without a little of the supernatural, and that too is consistent with the tone of the show.

Cons

When the story begins, Maura still has a boyfriend. There’s a brief scene of physicality between the two of them, but it’s not graphic. He gets kicked to the curb soon enough, but a few admittedly required scenes made me want the story to hurry right along.

Conclusion

This story is more than just a fan fiction romance – it’s also a clever whodunit that stays remarkably true to the source material. Between existential bouts of angsty self-reflection, Jane works the case as only she can and Maura’s brilliance shines through in every twist and turn of the plot.

The Rizzles inevitable romance builds beautifully, its consummation is steamy (with a little extra steam towards the end of the story), and everything about Marmite and Mistletoe reads like a special extra-long story arc from the show itself.

Excerpt from The Angstiest Slow Burn Rizzles Ever

Marmite and Mistletoe by ArcadiaArden

Reaching down, Jane pushed aside her coffee table to vacuum under it. She was happy for Maura. She really was. The woman deserved a break after Dennis Rockmond. She was glad that Maura could finally see what Jane kept trying to tell her. Aside from a few quirks that other people might not understand she was warm, wonderful and kinda perfect.

Jane simply wished she didn’t miss her so much. Maybe after the case she’d talk to Maura and see about making more of an effort to get together at work for lunch or something.

Just as she was about to finish the area in front of her couch, a small glint under the table caught her eye and Jane scooped the little bit of metal off the floor. The delicate filigree earring with inset amber certainly wasn’t hers. Flipping the vacuum off Jane slumped down on her couch and watched the light play off the delicate swirls.

Maura had lost this the night Jane had struggled up the steps with the box of ornaments. The earrings were from a trip last spring to the Czech Republic and were one of a kind. Maura had been frantic. They’d searched and searched for the earring, but finally gave up. In the craziness of the call on the double homicide, Jane had forgotten her promise to look for it.

She chewed the edge of her thumb and stared out her window. The light outside was already waning. She spotted her mobile phone on her end table. She should call and let Maura know she’d found the missing earring. But Maura had rushed out of work earlier, already upset she was too late to cook Jack this dinner she’d rambled on and on about over morning coffee.

In fact, Maura had barely stopped by to say goodnight as she rushed out, hurrying to pick up the take-out she’d finally had to order instead of cooking. There had been a hand brushing along her shoulder and folder dropped in her lap. Jane had watched her practically bounce out of the room with a smile thrown over her shoulder and sparkling eyes that narrowed just long enough to firmly remind her to get some rest.

It was only as Jane had watched her go that she realized it was a night off and with the case going full throttle, she didn’t have plans. Usually that had never been too much of a problem. It never took much to convince Maura to go to dinner or out for a drink.

It had been too easy to take it for granted. Now Jane realized she was always watching Maura run off to meet Jack.

Jack, who had managed to get boyfriend status. Jack who managed to keep Maura busy all the time. And happy. Maura seemed happy with Jack.

It was almost a compulsion Jane couldn’t control. Her phone was in her hand without realizing what she wanted to do. She shouldn’t call. Maura was busy. An earring wasn’t important.

But a quick text couldn’t hurt.

Find the full story here

Bits And Bobs

  • Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
  • Length: 155,302 words
  • Author: ArcadiaArden
  • Rating: Mature

Rating Guide:  G= General, T = Teen and up, M=Mature, E = explicit

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About the author

Website | + posts

Virginia Black writes women-loving-women romance and speculative fiction while sipping fine whiskey. She favors gritty stories of lustful angst with happy endings, including her novella Big City Blues, a contemporary romance set in Eastern Oregon. Virginia lives in the Pacific Northwest and is always hoping for rain.