Author: LittleMender PM
Tag 4x17 Cheap Burgundy. She was weighted by a bad case of doldrums with a touch of despair from which she desperately needed rescue. Fortunately, that sort of thing was what Jane excelled at in general and was expert in with this subject in particular.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Patrick J. & Teresa L. - Words: 2,713 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 2 - Published: 03-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7908832
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While I don't like the Red John arc the show is presently laboring under, I'm still enjoying the sweet moments when we get them. Last night's episode had several. I think my favorites were the phone flirting and when Lisbon dropped everything to go get Jane. They were so incredibly cute and "young-ish" together, as if what's left of innocence in each of them calls to the other. Anyway, this tag is all over the place, but I wanted to include the feelings evoked by as many of those moments as possible. It was so nice to see an episode that made me want to capture it and put it in my pocket. Or my fanfiction page.
She hadn't budged from that spot or actually read what was on her computer monitor in nearly ten minutes. He knew. He'd been watching her.
He had headed for the break room to start their tea when he'd first noticed her sitting at her desk, staring at the screen, repeatedly watching it go dark and recalling it with a flick of the touchpad, a little frown marring her delicate features. He had stood for a moment or two, knowing what was bothering her, deciding to put the kettle on before checking back.
Then, he had poured the boiling water into the pot over the tea bags and stepped away briefly during the steeping.
Still no movement.
Toss the bags, prepare the cups.
Pour the tea, lift and carry, ask Agent Ron to open the door, step inside, present her mug with a flourish.
He lowered himself slowly onto the couch, his back to the windows so he was facing her and considered the matter—and the woman—for a moment. To say Lisbon was down in the dumps, a bit depressed or even merely worried would have been a gross understatement. She was weighted, bogged down, suffering from a bad case of doldrums with maybe a touch of despair from which she desperately needed rescue. Fortunately, that sort of thing was what Jane excelled at in general and was expert in with this subject in particular. He must tread circumspectly. For all her compliance on the job and her consistent willingness to play along with his killer-catching schemes, Lisbon was, at heart, a contrary thing. The direct approach was never the best bet.
"Working with Susan was nothing like working with you."
She got that mulish look on her face, and he nearly expected her to childishly mew the words back at him. He knew it was partly because Darcy had been right: Lisbon didn't like her very much. Darcy didn't understand, though, that it wasn't a mere clash of personalities. It was something much more basic. Lisbon was wary of Darcy's continued suspicions, didn't like the high-handed way she had commandeered Jane, and he knew she was repulsed by the FBI agent's willingness to use a murder investigation to further her inquisition. Lisbon didn't like the kind of person Darcy was. That and she really didn't like his using her first name in so familiar a way.
Knowing the combination of her pride and what he was certain was weighing so heavily on her mind wouldn't let her take the bait easily, he proceeded to sweeten the lure.
"She asks really mundane questions"
"I'm sure she asks the same questions I do. Background, habits, recent activities, relationships, alibies."
"Uhh-yeah, but—" He hitched one side of his mouth deep into his cheek. "—she doesn't have your flair."
"My flair?" That got her attention.
"Mm. That thing you do with your voice, like you're not really prepared to believe anything they tell you."
"I don't do that."
"Whatever." She made a pretense of checking something on her laptop.
"She asks questions like she's doing a research paper about something she's not really interested in."
"Because she wasn't really interested in that case."
That was a little too much in the direction away from which he was trying to steer her thoughts.
"I mean she's boring."
In spite of herself, the first signs of a pleased smile tugged at her lips.
"Very. She was pedantic, caught up in meaningless details. Not much of a big picture person. Her powers of persuasion were nearly nonexistent, she was so obvious. And for such an attractive woman, she's somewhat frumpy. For instance, she'd never dream of sporting a form-fitting leather jacket. And she didn't hold her gun right. She was wobbly. The whole thing was wobbly. Worst of all, I found her lacking in conversation. Not like you at all."
"You 'found her lacking in conversation'?" she mocked. "Were there a lot of 'busy nothings'? Did you discover her to be someone 'who has not pleasure in a good novel' and so 'must be intolerably stupid'?"
"You see? Darcy would never have turned that into an opportunity to quote Austen."
"Fortunately, the reverse was never the case."
"Hm?" It took him a moment to apprehend her, but almost immediately caught her meaning and beamed at her in approval, pointing at her jovially.
"Now, that's what I'm talkin' about."
"Well, I don't have the works of Shakespeare memorized, but I try."
She pretended to look at her computer monitor again, but he knew this time it was to hide her burgeoning smile.
"She was vanilla ice cream to your chocolate mint. Sage to your cinnamon. Flat beer to your fine Scotch. White carnations to your blood-red rose. A drizzle to your tempest. Flannel to your—"
"Enough!" she cut him off abruptly. "You made your point."
"I was waxing poetic."
"You were carried away."
"You inspired me. Aren't you curious at all about how long I could've gone on?"
"I know how long, but I want to go home eventually. Besides, it was quality not quantity that concerned me. And don't think I don't know what you're trying to do."
"I'm trying to say I missed you."
"You already did."
"I can't say it enough."
"Yes, you can."
"Are you going to say how much you missed me?"
"I believe I did."
"A statement of the condition, Lisbon, not its depths."
"I missed you very much. Lots and lots."
He took his time ceremoniously depositing his tea cup on the file cabinet next to the couch then turned back to her, linking his hands, index fingers steepled at his lips, his gaze intent.
"And did you realize this before or after Rigsby tried to hypnotize Filo?"
She cringed, and he laughed outright, so hard that tears came almost immediately to his eyes.
"Oh, man!" he gasped, wiping the moisture from one socket with the heel of his hand. "I would've paid good money to see that! Please tell me you got that on camera!"
"I erased it before I came to pick you up. When you said you needed my help," she replied sharply, turning back to the computer once more, menacing the keyboard. He took in her look of consternation and cleared his throat, scooped up his tea and meekly sipped.
"The thing is," he said, ending her pointed silence, "it just wasn't the same."
"Because she was after something."
He sighed. Obviously there was no getting around her on the matter. "That too."
"And you gave it to her. Just opened up your mouth and said the words."
"She accused me of being Red John's disciple."
"Was that before or after you confessed and sold us both down the river?"
"Has anyone ever told you you're as tenacious as a bulldog?"
"To Darcy's Pekinese?"
"I can't believe you just turned a dog metaphor into a catty quip."
"One of my many talents. I'll bet Susan can't do that either."
"I can guarantee that wager would be safe." He took a measured sip. "And you're starting to sound a tad jealous."
"I am no such thing." She repositioned the laptop and slumped behind it, blocking his view of her.
"Didn't say you were. Just that you sounded."
"Well I'm not. And I don't. Why are we still talking about this? Oh, yeah. So you don't have to talk about the real issue."
She stretched up to peer over the computer at him. "What do we do now?"
"Why do we have to do anything?"
"Because the FBI is investigating us."
"Agent Darcy is investigating me."
"We're in this together. I'm an accessory after the fact now."
"That may be the case—"
"—but she won't get anywhere near you." He pronounced it with such certainty.
"How can you be sure?"
He paused before taking another sip and looked at her over his teacup, so directly, as if his whole being was concentrated in that gaze, and her sudden discomfort was such that she wanted to look away but found she couldn't.
"Because she'll have to go through me."
He had said before that he wanted to protect her, save her—many times. She had ended up shot and ostracized. Her doubts must have shown on her face.
"I won't make the same mistakes twice, Lisbon. Some things I'm not prepared to sacrifice."
She blinked against the intensity of both his words and scrutiny, and when he was certain she understood and accepted what he had said, his eyes released hers. She finally picked up the tea he had set in front of her and hid herself in a deep drink.
"Would you ever attempt to seduce me?"
She sputtered and her eyes widened incredulously for just an instant before she swallowed in that way she had of settling herself. Darcy would never have managed that so smoothly either.
"You mean like over a meal?"
He chuckled into his cup. "In any circumstance."
Her eyes narrowed. "To what purpose?"
"To any purpose."
"Would I ever seduce you in any circumstance for any purpose," she said slowly as if trying to diagram the thought.
She was quiet for a moment, and he looked up and did a double take at her frown of concentration, his mind beginning a frantic whir of backpedaling.
"Patrick Jane. Did Agent Darcy try to seduce you?"
Her voice was so infused with mirth, the sound of it washed over him like a drug.
"Yep. Right in the middle of Poppy's Café."
"After the eggs were ordered but before they were delivered," he said mournfully.
"No. I mean at what point."
"At night. Last evening. Which, looking back now, I have to say I'm relieved at. Daylight would have made the whole thing incredibly awkward."
"What did she do? What did she say?" She had simply closed the laptop now and pushed it to the side.
"Well—" He leaned forward, looking from side to side as if he were about to dish.
"—she let down her hair—" He swept his fingers back and forth across his forehead.
"—put on a slinky blouse—" Raised his hands and gave a tug to his suit jacket at each shoulder.
"—presented herself—" Preened where he sat.
"—and actually used the phrase 'before we were so rudely interrupted'," he finished triumphantly.
"Really?" She wrinkled her nose at him.
"Cross my heart."
"Huh . . . Jane," she said straightening to face him as if in some official capacity, "on behalf of women everywhere, I'd just like to apologize—"
"Oh, come now, Lisbon. It wasn't that bad."
"Wasn't that—Oh. My. G—. That's when you told!"
"Everything! Confessed! When she—" In a flurry of hands she mimicked the gestures he had made. "She seduced you and you told!"
"I did not! Gad, woman, I'm not some novice! And she didn't seduce me. Quite the contrary. I even told her it was stiff."
Her eyes widened again, but this time in barely contained glee, and he could hear the laughter rumbling somewhere in her tiny frame, threatening to explode out her compressed lips.
"I said her attempt was stiff, Lisbon," he said calmly, grasping at what was left of his dignity. "Get your mind out of the gutter."
She choked on the outburst and the vain attempt to keep it under control caused it to backfire in a reverberating snort. She tried to speak, but only managed a series of squeaks and wheezes.
"You have all the romantic sensibility of a construction worker, you know that?"
She was shaking her head and waving her palms back and forth at him, and he set his empty teacup aside, giving her a moment to compose herself.
"She didn't seduce me. And I told her part of the truth the next day right before I called you."
"She said she knew Red John was still alive and the only reason I would continue to deny it was if I was a friend or disciple. So I told her he was alive, that I'd made a mistake—"
She gasped. He frowned.
"—and she said I would need to prove it, and I said she was the one required to prove anything."
"Jane," she warned, all humor gone now. "You threw down a gauntlet. Darcy is ambitious, and if she were right this would be a career maker. She's not going to let this go."
"She was upstairs earlier. Presumably to see Wainwright."
They both sat back and gave that a chance to sink in. Once it did, she rose from behind her desk and joined him on the couch where they both turned to sit side by side slumped into the cushioned back, staring through the blinds into the darkened hallway.
"She didn't get what she wanted and she left you there. Stranded. Before the case was closed."
He could tell from the quiet, strained way she said it that she found each offense equally damning.
"Yes. And I called you and you came. And sat with me for hours waiting for the killers. And then arrested them just because I told you to."
They stayed like that for a while, relaxing and basking in friendship and mutual admiration.
She knew he couldn't just leave it alone.
"—how would you go about it?"
"Go about what?"
"Oh, I'd stick with a classic."
"Sexy lingerie and soft music?"
"Cheap liquor and a discreet motel."
"Hello." She waved lazily. "Romantic sensibility of a construction worker. Remember?"
"That just seems so wrong coming out of your mouth."
"Really?" she asked incredulously as she turned to look at him. "Why?"
"Well—" He rolled his head sideways to look at her through his eyebrows. "Don't take this the wrong way, but with your hair like that you look like a vintage Barbie."
"Hm." She stretched out her legs and looked down the length of them. "Thanks."
"You're not mad?"
"Nope. Vintage Barbie. Classic."
She went so still for so long that he thought she had drifted off. But she suddenly turned to him, her eyes twinkling between jade and emerald.
"What kind of doll is Darcy?"
He thought hard, wanting to get this just right.
"You know those little things with the bad spray-on tans, big tufts of brightly colored hair and the round, beady eyes?"
"Tro-o-o-olls?" she asked in drawn out delight. When he nodded she whooped.
"Perfect," she said finally, looking up at the ceiling, delicate fingertips sweeping tears of laughter from her eyes now. She sighed deeply and turned to him again.
"I really did miss you, Jane. And I hope you learned your lesson."
"Don't abandon us for what seems like greener pastures. Just because it's new and different doesn't make it better."
"I didn't abandon you." He cut off her protest. "But I learned. And I'll remember."
At her raised eyebrow, he recited, "Always stick with a classic."