Emma let out a low groan as she took a seat at the counter of the Division One Cafe. She didn't think she was going to survive sleeping on the floor for much longer.

"Tough morning?" the waitress asked. She was a middle-aged woman with blue eyes and a kind smile.

"I thought sleeping on the floor was good for your back," Emma replied, wincing slightly as she tried to make herself comfortable on the stool.

"Sleeping on the floor, huh? Is that the newest health craze?"

"I wish," Emma sighed. "I just moved here. My brothers are driving over with all my stuff, but they're still a couple of days away."

"Oh, you're Maura's new assistant!"

"I'm so sorry. How rude of me. I'm Emma," she held out her hand.

The woman shook it warmly. "Angela Rizzoli."

"Rizzoli?" Surely this wasn't a coincidence. That was already three Rizzoli's she had met in the span of two days. "As in - "

"Hey, Ma!"

Emma turned to see Frankie walk into the cafe and head straight for the counter.

"Frankie's and Jane's mom?" Mrs. Rizzoli finished for her. "That's me."

Jane…right. Emma remembered meeting her the day before. Tall, athletic brunette who seemed to be really good friends with Dr. Isles.

"Dr. Carter," Frankie greeted her with a smile and took a seat next to her. "Nice to see you again."

"What a pleasant surprise," Emma replied drolly. Somehow she had a feeling that Frankie knew they would be running into each other a lot.

"You two know each other?" Mrs. Rizzoli asked, leaning over the counter with a curious look in her eyes.

"Not really."

"Yeah, kinda."

They both spoke up at the same time. Emma raised an eyebrow at him, but he just shrugged.

"Well, which is it? Yes or no?" Mrs. Rizzoli prompted, taking a sip of water.

"Frankie was kind enough to pick me up at the airport yesterday," Emma explained. "And a twenty minute ride does not equal 'knowing' me."

"I don't know," Frankie mused. "It was enough for you to get naked."

Emma gasped while Mrs. Rizzoli choked on the water.

"It's not what you think!" Emma quickly told her. She could feel her face burning.

Frankie patted his mother's back as the poor lady was now having a coughing fit. "It's true," he said with an innocent look on his face.

"I didn't...I mean, I did, but it's really, really not what you think." Emma felt like she couldn't emphasize that enough. She shot Frankie a glare only to find him pressing his lips together to keep from laughing. He was having entirely too much fun at her expense. "I needed to change for my meeting with Dr. Isles, and Frankie said we were only a few minutes away from the station..."

"So she stripped right in front of me," Frankie supplied.

Emma didn't know why, but she had this need to explain herself to the older woman. "It was nothing. Just a quick change in the car...that's it." She narrowed her eyes at him. "Besides, you weren't supposed to look."

"Frankie," Mrs. Rizzoli warned.

"I swear I didn't look, Ma," he said, holding his hands up in defense. "Kept my eyes on the road the whole time."

Emma's phone buzzed, and she looked at it to find a message from Dr. Isles.

"Oh thank God. A dead body." She looked up with a smile, then realized how she had sounded. She covered up her excitement with a quiet cough. "Not that I'm happy someone's dead. I just...it's my first case." And this is the perfect excuse to leave and stop embarrassing myself, she silently added.

"It's okay, honey," Mrs. Rizzoli said, patting her arm in understanding. "Duty calls."

"It was nice meeting you, Mrs. Rizzoli."

"Angela, please."

Emma smiled at her, hoping the "changing clothes in the car" debacle hadn't marred her reputation with the woman. She grabbed a quick cup of coffee then made her way out of the cafe.

"I liked your tattoo!" Frankie called out after her.

She froze at the door, mortified that he had just yelled that out in front of everyone in the cafe. She whirled around about to spout off some kind of comeback when her phone rang again.

"You're lucky I have to leave," she weakly retorted, giving him what she hoped was her deadliest glare before marching out.


Emma took her time strolling down the sidewalk of her block despite the heavy grocery bags she was carrying. She let out a satisfied sigh, taking in the cool, night air. Her first case was going extremely well. She'd helped Dr. Isles perform the autopsy and even had a hand in identifying the murder weapon. Now it was up to the detectives to do the rest.

As she neared her apartment building, she struggled to adjust the grocery bags in her arms so she could fish for the house keys in her pocket. She glanced up to find someone exiting her building, and she called out to them.

"Hold the door, please! I just need to - " She froze when she saw who it was. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me."

He looked different outside of his uniform. If she weren't so upset with him, she might even admit that he looked even better in jeans and a casual t-shirt which was a little surprising considering he looked very, very good in his uniform.

She groaned. Oh, God, she was doing it again. What was it about Frankie that made her mind wander? She frowned, shaking her head and giving herself a mental slap.

"No way. Dr. Carter?" He frowned playfully. "Are you stalking me?"

"I could ask you the same thing," she said with a raised eyebrow.

She could understand running into him at the station, but out in the city? Out of all the apartment buildings in all of Boston, he just had to be walking out of hers.

"What are you doing here?"

"I live here," she supplied, with a slight nod to the front door of the building that he was holding open for her.


She nodded slowly.

"That apartment's been up for rent a few months already. I was actually thinking of renting it since I'm here so much already."

Emma felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. It suddenly occurred to her that Frankie might have a girlfriend. Here she was gawking at him, and the guy was probably in a long-term relationship.

Not that it mattered. It wasn't like she was looking for anything to happen between them. That was just ridiculous. He could be married for all she cared.

Then why did her stomach feel like she had just eaten something that didn't agree with her?

"Visiting your girlfriend?" she asked, her voice coming out a little more bitterly than she intended.

"What? No, I don't have a girlfriend. My sister lives upstairs," he pointed up. "I seriously can't believe you ended up renting 102. What a coincidence."

"Yeah...strange," she agreed. Emma suddenly felt...relieved? Like a weight had been lifted off her chest.

"Here let me help you with those," he said, reaching for the grocery bags.

"Thanks, but I can manage." She dodged past him and went into the building.

"Come on." He followed after her. "You're not mad about this morning, are you? It was a joke!"

"It wasn't so funny when I was trying to explain to your mother I wasn't some kind of stripper," she deadpanned, lifting her knee against her apartment door to hold the weight of her bags while she searched for her keys again.

He took the bags from her. "She doesn't think you're a stripper," he assured her as he leaned against the wall. "If it makes you feel any better, she actually really likes you. She got mad at me for teasing you. Smacked the back of my head and everything." He offered her an apologetic smile.

"Serves you right," Emma said, finally finding her keys and opening the door. "You can place the bags on the kitchen counter."

"I...uh, I like what you've done with the place. Going for the minimalist look, I see," Frankie quipped as he looked around her empty apartment.

She rolled her eyes at him. "My things should be getting here in a couple of days, hopefully."

She took off her jacket, and then followed him into the kitchen to start putting away her groceries. He helped her by handing things off to her, while she put them away.

"This is what you eat?" he asked, holding up boxes of frozen t.v. dinners.

"Don't judge," she said, taking the boxes from him and putting them in her freezer. "I don't always have time to cook and this makes for a quick meal."

He leaned back against the counter and crossed his arms over his chest. "How 'bout I make this morning up to you?"

Emma stuffed the recycled bags into one of the cabinets and then went back into the fridge to take out a couple of beers. She offered him one, and he took it, opened it, then handed it back to her before taking the other one for himself. Huh. She'd never had anybody do that for her. Usually the guy took the beer and then settled himself on the couch. Frankie was just filled with surprises.

"And how are you planning on doing that?" she asked skeptically.

"A home cooked meal."

"You cook?" Emma scoffed.

"Not very well," he admitted. "According to my sister, burned toast and boiled water is not cooking." He chuckled softly, and she couldn't help but smile in response. "But my mom makes a great lasagna. Why don't you have dinner with us tomorrow night?"

Emma narrowed her eyes at him, wondering if she wasn't being set up for another embarrassment. After a few seconds, she finally nodded and held up her bottle.


He clinked it with his own. "Truce." He settled back against the counter, taking a swig of his beer. "So what made you decide to become a medical examiner?"

"The first patient that died on me also happened to be the victim of a brutal stabbing," she said quietly, fidgeting with the label on her beer bottle. "I was doing my residency in the emergency room, and this woman gets rushed in. Multiple stab wounds, going into shock from the loss of blood. She had this look in her eyes...I'll never forget it. Help. I tried so hard to save her, but it was too late." Emma took a deep breath and placed her beer back on the counter. "It took me a while to realize that even though she was dead, she still had a voice. That I could help her...by catching the bastard that did that to her."

"So your tattoo?" He pointed to her ribcage. "Is that why you got it?"

"'While I breathe, I hope'," she recited. "That's exactly why I got it." Then she punched his arm. "I thought you didn't look."

"It's not every day a beautiful woman takes her clothes off in front of me. I couldn't help it."

Emma rolled her eyes at him again and shook her head. Her watch suddenly chimed the hour. "Shit. I didn't realize how late it was."

"Yeah, I should go," Frankie said, and she walked him to the door. "Thanks for the beer, and don't forget dinner tomorrow. I'll come by around seven to pick you up."

"I'll be ready," she assured him.

She closed the door behind him, and then leaned against it with a silly grin on her face. And when she finally went to bed, the thought of sleeping on the floor was the farthest thing from her mind. Instead, as she curled an arm under her head to use as a pillow, all she could think about were eyes the color of aged whisky and a warm smile that sent shivers down her spine.