|Guards and Guardians
Author: hardly loquacious PM
"You can't live his life for him, Lisbon," Jane said again, albeit gently. She really did need to talk it out. And he was already used to her yelling at him. He didn't mind a little extra abuse if it made her feel better. Post 4.06.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Drama - Patrick J. & Teresa L. - Words: 5,539 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-01-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7515860
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
4.06, 4.06, 4.06. I loved 4.06. Well done show. Lisbon family for the win! I want more. That was excellent. And I want more Jane reaction to it all. Now, it's unlikely that I get it anytime soon, So I wrote a post-ep. That is how I roll. It's not quite the post-ep I was envisioning, but it's the one I wrote, so... Yeah. Hope you enjoy it.
Guards and Guardians
Teresa Lisbon walked briskly into her office, relieved beyond measure when she didn't meet anyone along the way. She was so not up to dealing with people and their issues today. She didn't want to hear about the new clerk in the records office who was as slow as molasses and didn't possess a rudimentary grasp of English grammar. She didn't want to hear about the new team leader of the Fraud division who was, to put it mildly, a jerk. She definitely didn't want to even think about the possibility that Cho's injury might have permanent effects or spend the next hour worrying that Van Pelt still wasn't dealing all that well with her anger (understandable a reaction as that might be).
She could worry (or commiserate) about all of those things tomorrow. Not right now.
Right now all that she could deal with was the fact that her little brother was a bounty hunter. A bounty hunter. Tommy could get himself into some horribly dangerous situation tomorrow and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. Tomorrow it wouldn't even be her case. She couldn't keep an eye on him.
She just had to accept that.
Accept that her second youngest brother had a job that was possibly more dangerous than her own. And she chased serial killers and murderers for a living.
She had to let him live his life. She had to. She just didn't want to.
But what she wanted didn't matter; she'd let him make his own choices. If she didn't, she'd lose him. She didn't want him to resent her more than he maybe already did. Tommy didn't always do so well with authority figures. And if she interfered, if she tried to fix it…
To her he'd always be the scowling adolescent, angry at the world. The one who'd desperately needed someone to help.
He'd always be her baby brother.
She loved him so damn much.
She couldn't lose him. She couldn't.
She barely got to see him as it was. She couldn't deal with less contact then their mostly weekly phone calls (even if there were obviously things he wasn't telling her when they did talk).
Lisbon's shoulders sagged the second she stepped into her office, far too tired to keep up the pretence of her brisk walk any longer.
She just needed a minute to get herself together. She needed some time without people making demands of her. She needed…
There was a cup of tea on her desk, a fresh one too, if the steam rising from it was any indication.
Lisbon glanced around her office in confusion. The blinds were drawn. They hadn't been when she left. Her blinds were drawn, there was a cup of tea on her desk, and a pot of tea on her coffee table.
She blinked, then sighed when she heard the door shut behind her. After all, the changes could only really mean one thing.
She turned to see Jane behind her holding his own cup of tea in one hand and a box of cookies in the other. "Cookie, Lisbon?" he asked holding out the box.
"What?" she asked.
"I got them from Marie down the hall. Her daughter's selling them as some sort of school fundraiser," Jane explained. "They're pretty good."
"I'm sure they are," Lisbon murmured.
"I'll just leave them on the table here in case you want one," Jane continued, setting the cookies on the coffee table as promised.
Lisbon watched him set the box down blankly; her brain didn't seem to be working properly. It had been such a long day. "Jane, what…"
"You should drink your tea before it gets cold, Lisbon," he told her. Realizing that she wasn't going to make a move towards it of her own accord, Jane set his own tea down beside the cookies. Then, he walked over to her desk and handed her the cup he'd already poured for her.
She took it automatically.
"You can drink it," he assured her with a smile. "I promise I didn't put anything in it."
"I didn't think you had…" she murmured. "Why?"
"Why didn't I put anything in it?" he asked, trying to lighten the mood.
She tilted her head, not in the mood to deal with his nonsense.
"I thought you could use a cup of tea," he explained with a shrug.
Lisbon felt something in her crack. She couldn't do this right now. "Jane…" she whispered, her voice far closer to breaking than she'd have liked.
"Sit down, Lisbon," he ordered, steering her around her coffee table with a firm but gentle hand on her waist.
"Jane, it's been a long day. I just want to go home," she protested softly, despite letting him lead her to her couch and dropping onto it when she got there.
"No you don't," he replied just as softly before sitting next to her.
She sighed, let her eyes close, and leaned back against the couch, wishing she could just disappear into the plush cushions. Just for a little while. "You're incredibly irritating, you know that?"
"Of course I do," he replied with a smile she couldn't see.
Lisbon exhaled slowly. "Well, as long as you know," she murmured.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he ventured cautiously.
"No," she said bluntly.
"Last time we talked about it, you said it was my fault," she said, turning towards him, her eyes accusing.
Jane stared at her. "I did not!" he objected immediately. "You said that! I didn't say anything of the sort! In fact, I don't think I said anything at all. Couldn't get a word in edgewise." Her little explosion in the elevator had startled him. He wasn't used to that sort of thing from her.
"Then what's the point of talking to you, if you're not going to say anything?" she countered.
"I thought you might want to get some of it out," Jane said with a slightly exaggerated shrug. "Practice those communication skills of yours," he added slyly. "But if you don't want to, that's okay too. We can just sit here together and drink our tea."
"Okay," Lisbon nodded firmly.
"Okay," Jane agreed cheerfully as he settled in..
"Because I don't need to talk about anything," Lisbon added.
"I never said you did," Jane agreed immediately. "I just thought I'd offer is all. In case you wanted to."
"Okay then," Lisbon said a second time.
"I don't want to," she insisted.
"Alright," Jane repeated.
"Because I'm fine," Lisbon assured him.
Jane just sipped his tea in silence.
"I mean, why wouldn't I be fine?" Lisbon demanded suddenly. "So my little brother's a bounty hunter. That's fine. At least he has a job, right? In this economy that's better than a lot of people. And hey, it gives Annabeth plenty of exposure to guns, which she likes. So everybody wins!" Lisbon clenched her jaw before taking a sip of her tea in an attempt to relax. If she didn't calm down she was going to fly off of her couch and start tossing things around her own damn office out of sheer frustration.
Jane watched her from the other side of the couch. Here she was, his incurable fixer, butting headfirst into a problem she couldn't fix, and one involving someone she loved. Jane knew it was absolutely killing Lisbon not to swoop in and take over. Her control issues had become ingrained early on after all. He reached out a hand and placed in on her shoulder, rubbing small circles with his thumb in an attempt to soothe her.
"Tommy'll be fine, Lisbon," he assured her. "He's fine, and Annie's fine."
Lisbon let her eyes close for a second. "I know, but…"
"They'll be fine," Jane repeated, giving her shoulder a comforting squeeze.
"You don't know that," she whispered with a reproachful look.
"You don't know that they won't be," Jane reminded her sensibly.
"You saw them," her consultant continued. "Annie seems reasonably well adjusted. And you already know she's a great kid."
"I know," Lisbon agreed. "But I don't want her to miss out on the traditional kid stuff. I want her to have a normal adolescence."
"No such thing," Jane said with a grin.
She didn't return it. "Jane…"
"Hey, she went to her grade eight prom, or whatever it was," Jane reminded the woman next to him. "Your niece does normal things. I suspect going out in the field with Dad is the exception, and not the rule."
Lisbon wasn't quite convinced, but she had to concede one point at least. Annie had gone to her school dance. That was something."I guess…"
"And normal childhoods aren't for everybody," Jane added cheerfully. "I certainly didn't have one."
Lisbon smiled wryly. "That's really not helping your argument Jane."
"Hey!" he objected.
Lisbon shot him a grin, but it was short-lived.
"It'll be okay, Lisbon," Jane said softly as he watched her face fall.
"You keep saying that,' Lisbon whispered. "But I know Tommy. He has a talent for trouble."
"He doesn't seem to be doing too badly," Jane tried again. "He's keeping his head above water."
"He had a gun pointed at his head today," Lisbon snapped. And that was not something she even wanted to think about happening again. The image would probably feature in her nightmares enough as it was.
Jane sighed. He had to admit, that the little confrontation earlier today wasn't helping his attempts to get Lisbon to relax. Because where her brothers were concerned, it seemed even the slightest hint of a threat was enough to send her into super-big-sister mode. And this had been more than a hint of a threat. "Well, yes, but…" Jane started to say.
"A gun, Jane!" Lisbon repeated, her eyes wide and worried. It broke his heart. But before Jane could say anything Lisbon continued. "Actually, that was your fault!"
"What?" Jane asked. That wasn't what he'd been expecting.
"This is all your fault!" Lisbon growled, turning on him. "Someone pointed a gun at my little brother's head and it's all your fault! Tommy wouldn't have even been there if you hadn't given him back his fugitive It was your stupid plan… It was… God, Annabeth was right there too, on top of it all."
Jane was relieved that she'd apparently decided to channel her worry into anger towards him. At least if she was yelling her eyes were angry and no longer filled with that horrible pain. "Annie," he corrected quietly.
Lisbon's eyes flashed dangerously. "Don't you tell me what to call my niece! Don't you…"
"Hey… shhh…" Jane tried to whisper soothingly.
But Lisbon was in no mood to shhh. "What if something had happened?" she demanded.
"With you in the room? Never." He'd been certain of that. No way would Lisbon let anything happen to her brother. Not super-sister.
"Jane…" she objected.
Now it was Jane's turn to shake his head. "Tommy's job's dangerous, Lisbon. He understands the risk. He made that decision when he decided to chase down escaped criminals."
"He's not trained…" Lisbon whispered.
"It's not really something you train for," Jane reminded her. A job like that was half instinct. Not a lot a classroom could teach you, though he was sure some sort of course was required.
"I don't care," Lisbon said stubbornly.
Jane smiled indulgently. Of course she didn't. She wasn't really using logic at all. This was a purely instinctive reaction to protect. It was endearing, in its way. But he needed to talk her down or she'd kill herself with worry. "Besides, you can't tell me it's more dangerous than a cop or a firefighter, which last time I checked were what the other Lisbon boys were up to, not to mention the single Lisbon sister."
"It's not the same," she replied immediately.
"Of course not," Jane agreed dryly.
"As a cop you're trained. And the people around you are trained. You depend on them. Tommy's all alone," Lisbon explained. Her baby brother had no back up. And he was chasing people with guns. When she was going after someone dangerous she at the very least brought her team. Sometimes she even called in SWAT.
"He has Annie," Jane replied. Annie may not have been ideal back-up, but she was fairly good insurance that Tommy would try to be careful.
"That makes it worse," Lisbon objected with a shake of her head. "Annie shouldn't be… If anything happens to her… If anything had happened to her… God Jane."
Jane glared at her. "Hey! You're not honestly suggesting that I'd have ever deliberately put a fourteen year old girl in danger?" he snapped. "Never mind that the girl was your niece?"
His sudden anger shook Lisbon out of her panic enough to let her get a good look at his face. She made the connection almost immediately. Then she felt terrible for not making it before. "Oh. Jane, I… I'm..."
"It's okay," he said quickly. He really didn't want to talk about it.
"No it isn't," she disagreed. "I never even thought. I mean, I was so caught up in Tommy and…" How had she not noticed Annabeth was almost exactly the same age Charlotte Jane would have been? No wonder Jane had bonded with her niece. That hadn't surprised Lisbon. Annie had a certain disregard for societal conventions that was right up Jane's alley, but add that to her age…
"Don't worry about it Lisbon," Jane said again.
Now it was her turn to attempt to offer comfort. She reached tentatively for his wrist. "I just…"
"Someone pointed a gun at your baby brother today," Jane summarized. He didn't want to talk about his daughter today. He really, really didn't. Not after being able to spend a little bit of time with her niece. Who really was a good kid. He'd enjoyed that; he didn't want the day tainted with tragedy. He didn't want a reminder that it was over and he'd eventually have to go back to his hotel room.
He'd liked his brief time with the Lisbon family. It had been a nice diversion. Jane had told himself that he'd made the pot of tea because Lisbon shouldn't be left in the company of her own mind right now, but that wasn't the only reason he'd invaded her office.
Jane pushed that thought ruthlessly aside and focused on her. This wasn't about him. He was pleased to see that his comment had succeeded in distracting Super Sister.
"A gun, Jane! A gun!" Lisbon all but yelled. No one pointed a gun at her baby brother. That was just unacceptable.
"And so, true to form, you tackled them to the ground from across the room," Jane said dryly.
His comment didn't even faze his companion. "It's such a dangerous think he's doing," Lisbon explained again. "I mean, look what happened this week, and that's with me helping him out. Annie holds a gun on Rigsby, Tommy shows up and Cho gets hit by a car…"
Jane felt the need to interrupt her there, "That wasn't Tommy's fault, and Cho knows it. So do you, come to that."
"Tommy's arrival didn'thelp," Lisbon repli ed.
She started fidgeting on the couch, one hand clutching onto her throw pillow. "I just, why can't he make decks? Or learn a trade. Plumbing, or construction, or something."
"That isn't what he wants," Jane said gently.
"And he didn't even tell me about it!" Lisbon added angrily.
Jane looked askance at that, "Well, you weren't exactly supportive when you did find out…"
His comment earned him a patented Lisbon-glare. "I'm always supportive," she insisted. "I'd do anything for Tommy. Anything. Don't you dare tell me that I…"
"Teresa…" Jane said, realizing that he'd inadvertently provoked one of Super-Sister's ingrained defence mechanisms and trying to get a word in edgewise.
Lisbon was in no mood to let him. It was all his fault anyway. Why shouldn't she yell at him? "And look how I found out about his new job! Completely out of the blue, at a crime scene. With Annie there, waving a gun around at my agent! Not exactly the poster for safe, secure choices."
"If it makes you feel any better, on the way into work today I heard a story about a contractor dying in a freak accident with his own hammer while building a deck," Jane told her helpfully.
"That makes me feel loads better, thanks," Lisbon said sarcastically.
"You can't live his life for him, Lisbon," Jane said again, albeit gently. She really did need to talk it out. And he was already used to her yelling at him. He didn't mind a little extra abuse if it made her feel better.
"I know that!" she hissed.
Jane circled his fingers around her wrist, sweeping his thumb across her pulse in a (probably futile) attempt to soothe her a little. "You can't micromanage it either."
"I know," she insisted, deflating a little.
"Okay," he agreed, tightening his fingers slightly as she turned away.
"I just want him to be safe," Lisbon explained, turning back towards him.
Jane's heart broke a little when he saw the pain that had returned to her eyes. "I know you do."
"Why didn't he tell me?" Lisbon asked sadly. "I could have…"
"Could have what?" Jane prompted when she didn't continue.
"I don't know," she was forced to admit. "I could have… done something."
"Like what?" Jane prompted again. They were finally getting somewhere.
"I could have fixed it!" she hissed.
He smiled at her. "Last I checked, it wasn't broken," he reminded her gently.
Lisbon bridled at his tone. She'd never been particularly good at dealing with other people's concern. "Look…"
"You can't save us all, Teresa," he all but whispered.
That stopped her. "Jane."
"Lisbon," he replied, squeezing her hand.
She looked down at his hand, still playing around her wrist. "What if something happens to him?"
"Something could happen to any one of your brothers tomorrow. Freak lightning strike, car accident, heart attack. It's possible. You can't worry about it," he argued, knowing it wouldn't convince her, but determined to try anyway.
"You know as well as I do, that statistically you're more likely to die from a gunshot wound if you work in certain professions, bounty hunting being one of them," Lisbon replied.
"I'm sure law enforcement's another," Jane replied.
"I told you, that's different."
"Because it's you?" Jane asked.
She didn't answer.
"Tommy's smart. And it sounds like he's pretty good at this." Lisbon shot him a look. "Besides, he won't risk his life, not with Annie to think about."
Lisbon fell into muttering. Jane heard snatches of her irritation, something about Tommy always having the best intentions in the world but usually the worst execution.
"Lisbon, did it ever occur to you that he might be good at this?" Jane wondered, his hand moving up to toy with the ends of her hair.
She glared at him. "Yeah, he did really well this time."
"Okay, you had to give him a hand," Jane conceded. "But I thought that's what you wanted, to help your brother?"
"Of course I want to help!" Lisbon growled in frustration. "But I want to help in a way that isn't…"
"Yes?" Jane asked.
Lisbon paused. "It's Tommy."
"Tommy is…" She took a breath, wondering how to explain. "I practically raised him."
Jane grinned. "You told me that already."
Lisbon shook her head slowly. She may have told him she'd raised her brothers, but unless you knew the details… Unless you'd done it yourself, "I was the one who taught him how to throw a curveball that was almost impossible to hit," she said finally. "I was the one who made sure he didn't fail out of high school math. I was the one who showed him how to put a corsage on a girl before prom. I used to make him macaroni and cheese when… that was his favourite."
Jane softened, "Tommy was special." He'd known that already, even if he wasn't about to tell her that. It was obvious that the two siblings had their own special rapport. Jane didn't need to meet the other two Lisbon siblings to know that in an odd kind of a way, Tommy was the one big sister clicked with a little more than the others.
It may have been obvious to Jane, but his observation surprised Lisbon. "What?" she asked.
"James was older, more independent. Steve was the baby of the family, the one everyone spoiled and sheltered," Jane explained. "But Tommy, Tommy needed a little bit of extra help sometimes." Help he was sure Saint Teresa had been only too happy to provide.
"He had a tough time growing up," Lisbon murmured.
"So you made sure to give him a little bit extra, a little bit more of your time," Jane said, filling in the blanks. "Because you knew he needed it."
"We got through it," she said defensively. "Tommy's strong."
"You taught him that too," Jane shrugged.
She glared at him.
He ignored it. "And I bet you were also the one who taught him to take responsibility when his girlfriend got pregnant when he was what? Twenty? That couldn't have been easy for him."
Lisbon winced at the memory, "It wasn't, back then he wasn't… he didn't…"
"But look at him now," Jane encouraged.
That made Lisbon smile. "I know. He's so great with her sometimes, Annie I mean, not his ex."
"Well, he had a good role model when it comes to taking on responsibility when you're young even if you aren't ready for it when he was younger," Jane said innocently.
She didn't answer.
"You know what else he saw?" Jane prompted, amused by the faint blush on her cheeks.
She looked away.
"His action-hero big sister, running around the State of California, tackling criminals and keeping the public safe," the consultant said cheerfully.
Lisbon looked over at him sharply.
Jane's smile turned affectionate. "You can't honestly think that had nothing to do with his current career choice. It must have occurred to you dear. After all, Annie even told you she wants to be a cop."
"That was part of their plan," Lisbon muttered. "A distraction so they could bug my stupid phone."
Jane frowned and grabbed her arm firmly. "You know that's not true. You think Annie didn't mean that?"
Lisbon closed her eyes. "I wanted to believe them. I wanted to believe him so much," she whispered. "Wanted to believe that they were going home. That he was going to find another job, not give me another reason to worry. That he'd pick something safe. I don't want Annie to do this either. I don't want her to have my job."
"Well, unfortunately the whole Lisbon-family Deck building business doesn't seem to be getting off the ground," Jane said dryly.
"Doesn't have to be building decks," Lisbon argued stubbornly. "They could install swimming pools, or fix people's plumbing or… cater stuff."
"Not enough of a sense of purpose in that for the Lisbons," Jane replied lightly.
"Shut up," she snapped, but Jane thought he caught a hint of a smile lurking in the corners of her mouth.
He decided to press his advantage, "Annie reminded me of you."
"Really?" Lisbon asked, definitely sounding pleased now.
"She's not exactly like you," Jane qualified. "Not quite so responsible, a little less controlled. I expect that's part adolescence and part her mother's influence."
"Caroline's something else alright," Lisbon said dryly.
"Although, I suspect that when you were younger you weren't quite so angelic either," Jane added, ever hopeful that he might get a juicy tale about Auntie Reese.
Jane smirked. He should have known she wouldn't take the bait, "But it's obvious that you're the woman Annie looks up to."
"What?" Lisbon asked.
"She asked about you when you weren't around," Jane said, tilting his head towards her confidentially. "What you were like as a boss. What your job was like. And it's obvious Tommy'd prefer she take after his big sister rather than his ex."
Lisbon stared at him.
"You practically raised him, Lisbon," Jane reminded her softly. "And now he's raising her."
To both their surprise, her eyes started to get a little misty. "Jane…"
"It wasn't all a con, Teresa," Jane assured her gently. He wasn't sure quite what he was doing, but he kept going, because he knew she needed to hear it. "Trust me. I know cons."
"I just want them to be safe," she whispered again.
"I know you do," Jane said soothingly. "But you can't control everything."
He watched her blink rapidly. "It's hard," she admitted after a moment.
"Yeah, it is. But you're doing great," he told her, squeezing her hand again.
"I don't want him to hate me," Lisbon confided. She didn't know why she was telling Jane all of this, she really didn't. But damn it, he'd invaded her office and she didn't have the energy to ignore him right now.
"He doesn't hate you," Jane said firmly.
Lisbon ran a hand through her hair. "I want him to talk to me; I want him to know that if anything ever happened that…"
"He knows," Jane interrupted.
"Does he?" she asked hopefully.
That made Jane grin. It was an easy question to answer after all. Anyone who Teresa Lisbon cared about had to knew the lengths she'd go to protect them. That was impossible to miss. "Oh yeah."
"Okay," she said after a moment, wondering whether or not to believe him.
Jane let her sit quietly for a moment, then he broke the silence again. "I have to say, seeing you with your brother was a bit of wake-up call from my perspective."
"Why's that?" Lisbon asked curiously.
He grinned. "Well, I thought you were protective of your team," Jane explained. "Turns out I had no idea about the full extent of Teresa Lisbon's mother bear tendencies.
Lisbon swatted him lightly in the shoulder.
"This made the way you watch over Rigsby and Van Pelt look positively hands-off in comparison," Jane added, deciding not to even mention her relationship with himself. After all, he was the one she really watched over like a hawk, and even that rarely came close to the way she'd dealt with Tommy.
"Shut up," Lisbon muttered.
"I mean it," Jane continued. "You really are the ultimate big sister."
She shrugged. "They're my brothers."
"You're a good person, Lisbon," Jane said softly.
The only answer he got was a nudge in the shoulder.
"You feeling any better," he asked after a minute.
"I'm fine," Lisbon replied reflexively. Oddly enough she was feeling a little better. She wondered what kind of tea he'd made her. And maybe she would have one of those cookies…
"You sure?" Jane double-checked.
"Yeah," Lisbon said. "Besides, you don't want to listen to any more of this."
"No, I don't," Jane agreed, though he suspected it wasn't for the reason she'd assume. He didn't want to listen to it because he wanted her to be happier, not because he didn't care.
"See now," Lisbon replied. "I should go home."
"But I will," Jane continued, ignoring her conclusion (it was incorrect as he'd known it would be).
"What?" Lisbon asked. What was Jane talking about now?
"I will listen to it," Jane explained.
Lisbon smiled, glancing down at her knees. "That's sweet, but…"
"I don't like it when you're upset," Jane said abruptly.
That admission made her look up in surprise.
"You're upset," he continued, slightly agitated. "You want to talk to someone, even if you're too stubborn to admit it. You…"
"Jane?" she whispered when he didn't continue.
Now it was his turn to stare at the wall. "Have another cup of tea, Lisbon," he all but pleaded.
"I'm not done this one yet," she said gently.
He shrugged. "After then. I made decaf. You won't have to worry about it keeping you up at night."
Lisbon let herself smile and enjoy the affection spreading through her chest, even if the man inspiring the feeling was absolutely infuriating most of the time. She deserved this. She'd been having a terrible day after all. "I wasn't worried."
Jane nodded once.
Lisbon let herself relax back into the couch, angling herself ever so slightly towards her companion and letting her pant-leg brush up against his.
Jane let his arm creep up to rest almost around her shoulders.
He would try and comfort her a little.
After all, she needed this. She needed the comfort. She needed someone. It wasn't good for her to be alone all the time, especially after days like today. It got so lonely. Better to sit with someone. Better to know that there's someone there, looking out for you. Feeling alone all the time wasn't good for anyone.
Obviously Lisbon needed a friend.
Jane exhaled softly. "Keep worrying about Tommy, Lisbon. He likes it."
She looked up at him in surprise. "Really?"
"Mmhm," Jane confirmed, deliberately avoiding her eyes again. "He likes knowing someone cares about him that much."
"Does he?" Lisbon asked, feeling slightly breathless, his demeanour giving away who he was really talking about..
Jane looked down at her briefly. "Yeah," he whispered. "He does."
Lisbon stared at him. "Good," she said finally.
"The world's still dangerous, but he'll try not to get himself killed," Jane promised, wondering who he thought he was even fooling anymore. This had never been entirely about her.
"Okay," Lisbon agreed, tilting her head towards his as she leaned back against the cushions.
"Everything'll be alright, Lisbon," Jane promised again.
She sighed. "I hope so."
Jane found himself really wishing he could guarantee that promise. He'd do his best of course, but the world was so uncertain. Especially his world.
Still, he wanted…
He hoped she felt better at least. She could be a little isolated sometimes. She needed connection.
He would sit with her. He didn't mind.
Lisbon rolled her head across her shoulders, not objecting in the slightest to the fingers she felt travelling around the base of her skull, searching for pressure points to release some of the tension there. Maybe she didn't have to go home right away. Maybe she could sit just a little while longer
Especially since Jane had been sweet and gone to all this trouble.
After spending half the day with her Annie and Tommy, her condo would seem depressingly empty anyway.
"Jane?" she asked softly.
"My teacup's empty," she told him.
He smirked and obligingly reached for the pot to remedy that particular problem.
Lisbon waited until he was setting it back down to continue. "Jane?" she said again.
"Could you pass me a cookie?"
This time his smile reached his eyes. "Of course."
"Thanks," she whispered.
"You're welcome," he replied, quite pleased with himself.
After all, cookies and tea beat a nervous breakdown any day.
They definitely beat an evening alone.