|The Best Mistake
Author: Nerwen Aldarion PM
"All I can do is ask for forgiveness." "No. I can't forgive you." "I understand." "No you do not, No one in my entire life has ever hurt me the way you did. You made me feel guilty for breathing. I thought you hated me..." The path to forgiveness is long and hard and Jane knew it might be impossible, because no one had treated her as badly as he had. JisbonRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Patrick J. & Teresa L. - Chapters: 18 - Words: 220,492 - Reviews: 658 - Favs: 125 - Follows: 170 - Updated: 04-02-13 - Published: 11-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8714499
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine
A/N: I know, I know. Why am I posting a new story when I still have Lavinia and Hope and billion other things to work on. Well I'm here to tell you that the blame goes to my twitter friends. So point those fingers at SteeleSimz, HollyGoLightly and GlindaLovesShoes for BEGGING me to post this story. I was going to wait LOL.
So this fic is called The Best Mistake, or by it's other title, the one where I turn Jane into a total bastard and then find some way to redeem him. Make no mistake, you are going to HATE him during this fic, but as you'll see right off the bat, he'll come around. But be prepared for a rough ride.
The Best Mistake
Chapter 1: The First Mistake
Jane didn't like the way the man was looking at Lisbon. His eyes were glazed over with alcohol and more than once they slipped down to peek at her now ample cleavage that her blouse did little to hide. The man's lecherous gaze was fairly obvious but Lisbon wasn't seeing it, or perhaps she was but she simply didn't care. She'd had a couple too many drinks and was having a hard time focusing on anything.
He'd known this case was hard for her, not a great way to start her first week back from maternity leave. A ten-month old was murdered and as impossible as it sounded the child's own mother had been the culprit. The woman had tried to pass off hormones as her defense but Jane knew better, she'd seen the child as simply a means of receiving unconditional love and after ten-months she'd decided that she'd had enough. Lisbon hadn't been able to reconcile with the idea that a mother could kill her own child; she hadn't been able to believe that a small child was now gone from this earth. After booking he'd seen the look in her eyes and he'd had a feeling what would happen next. It would take a while for her to grow some thicker skin, it wouldn't be enough to ease the pain when cases like this came up but it would stop her from feeling the need to go to a bar and hook up with a stranger just to feel alive.
Jane was here to keep her from doing something she'd regret. That was what he told himself as he watched this drunk stranger's hands sneak up Lisbon's thigh. He knew he was just kidding himself to some degree. When said man tried to lean in for a kiss Jane gave up any pretense and walked over to them. "Lisbon, you've had enough."
Lisbon blinked up at him; her eyes were having a hard time focusing. "What are you doing here?"
"Is he your boyfriend?" the man hiccupped once and Jane had to resist the urge to say something that would undoubtedly confuse the man's muddled mind.
Lisbon snorted. "Not even close."
Jane winced. She'd said the truth; they weren't dating and never really had. They were nowhere near a relationship but somehow they had so much more than that. It was all just a confusing mess that he'd caused, ironically because he'd been drunk one night himself.
He grabbed her arm. "Come on, Lisbon. I'll take you home."
"I don't want to go," she hissed, glaring at him.
"The lady said no," the other man said sternly, it would have been a lot more threatening if he hadn't teetered on his seat as if he was about to fall over.
But Jane didn't even look at him. His eyes were on Lisbon. "Don't do this, you want to be able to look Alaina in the eyes tomorrow."
She flinched when he mentioned Alaina and turned her eyes to his. He saw a lot of anger there and it was what he deserved. After a few seconds anger was also joined by resignation and acceptance. Lisbon stood up from her stool and didn't fight him when he took her arm again. "It's pretty low when you have to play the Alaina card."
"You'll thank me tomorrow."
"I doubt it." She stopped in her tracks in the parking lot and looked up at him. "Why did you follow me, Jane?"
"I knew you would do something stupid," Jane told her honestly.
"Is that all?" Lisbon asked and she stepped closer to him, pressing her body flush against his.
For a few moments Jane struggled to keep his own thoughts in check. It was a heady combination, feeling Lisbon's body through the thin barrier of clothing, smelling the soft citrus scent of her shampoo and the tinge of alcohol on her breath. It was intoxicating and his body screamed to take what she was freely offering. But this time he was the one with the level head.
"You don't want to do this," he said softly, "wasn't alcohol what got us in this mess in the first place?"
"I wasn't drunk that night," she reminded him.
"No," Jane replied, "I was."
"And for most of the year afterwards."
He closed his eyes, fighting back the pain but he couldn't deny the truth in her words. But the reminder had the effect that was needed. Lisbon took a few steps away from him and drew in some deep breaths of fresh air. She needed to clear her head and sober up.
"Come on," Jane told her, gently taking her hand. She didn't fight him as he steered her towards the car.
"You don't have to come in," she told him as she fumbled with the door handle to get out of the car.
"I want to."
"What if I don't want you to?"
He stopped and met her eyes. "Do you really want me to go?"
For a long moment they just stared at one another and he saw the internal battle her mind was waging. She'd been more than patient and understanding the last few months, she was on her way to sainthood after everything he'd done to her. If she told him to leave then he would do as she asked. If she told him to walk all the way to the moon he'd do it at this point.
She sighed and rolled her eyes. "Stay, go, do whatever you want, I don't care." He knew that wasn't true and it might not have been a proper invitation but he knew what she meant.
Lisbon unlocked her apartment door and walked in with Jane following her. A pretty blonde teenager of about fourteen was sitting on Lisbon's couch; actually she was more like lounging on it. There was a textbook next to her but she had her phone in hand and was rapidly texting with her thumbs. She looked up when she heard them walk in and quickly rose to her feet. "Ms. Lisbon, you're back early."
"Yeah," Lisbon said, her words slurring just a little.
The teenager looked from Lisbon to Jane and blushed a little. Jane realized quickly what the young girl was thinking with Lisbon being obviously drunk and bringing a man home with her. He put on a reassuring smile. "Hello, I'm Patrick, Alaina's father. I was just bringing her mother home."
The girl relaxed and smiled now too. "Hi," she blushed again this time for an entirely different reason judging by the way she looked him over; it wasn't a boast, just a fact. "I'm Sarah, I live in the complex next door."
Lisbon looked from her baby sitter to Jane and glared at both of them, reserving the real heat for him. "Let me get your money."
As she fumbled for her wallet Jane stepped closer to her. "I can take care of it," he told her softly.
"I've got it."
"I said I've got it," she said loudly and pulled out a few crisp bills. Lisbon handed the money to Sarah. "Do you need me to walk you home?"
The teenager shook her head, tucking the money away in her pocket and grabbing her backpack. "I'll be okay."
"How was the baby?" Jane asked before she could leave.
"Oh she was fine," Sarah explained, "took a little time for her to fall asleep but she was great." She gave Jane a glowing smile before looking past him towards Lisbon, "If you need me again…"
"Thank you, Sarah," Lisbon replied rather stiffly; "I'll call you when I need a sitter again."
Sarah appeared satisfied and she shut the door behind her, leaving the two adults alone in the living room now. For a few beats they looked at one another rather awkwardly before Lisbon marched over to her kitchen and opened the fridge. "If you needed someone to watch the baby, you could have called me," Jane offered.
Lisbon snorted and twisted off the cap of a water bottle before taking a hefty swallow. "Then who would have been there to drag me out of a bar?"
So she was still a little pissed about that. "I didn't want you to do something foolish, to make some drunken mistake."
"Like you did?"
Jane felt a rush of pain but shook his head. "Alaina isn't a mistake."
"That isn't what you said six months ago."
The words hung between them like a poison in the air. Jane wanted to deny it, he wanted to tell her that she was wrong but he couldn't. Not when he'd said those exact words to her in this very room. She'd sat there on that sofa, her hands cradling her bump and her eyes staring straight ahead, not looking at him as he told her what he'd thought. "I can't do it. Not again, not now. It was a mistake, this was always a mistake."
"I was wrong," he said softly.
She looked like she was ready to reply with some more biting words and he would have stood there and let her vent. But a lusty wail pierced that moment. "Dammit," Lisbon said with a groan.
"I've got it," Jane assured her. He quickly walked up the stairs and down the small hallway to Lisbon's second bedroom. She'd converted it to a nursery with pink walls and a butterfly and dragonfly motif. It was beautiful and he wished he could say he was responsible for it but Grace had done most of the decorating, Cho and Rigsby had come by and pitched in one weekend as well. But he hadn't even seen it until after Alaina's birth.
The baby was laying in the white crib, wearing a light purple sleeper, her tiny limbs flailing and her face scrunched up from her tears. Jane reached in and picked her up, letting her head rest against his chest. "Shhh," he whispered, gently rocking her in his arms, "It's okay, pretty girl. Daddy's here, daddy's here."
He smiled when her cries slowed just at the sound of his voice. She hiccupped a couple of times and still whimpered but her screams were no longer deafening. He turned around when he heard Lisbon's footsteps as she walked into the room, a full bottle in her hand. "Here," she told him handing the bottle of milk to him, "I already tested it."
Jane nodded and teased the nipple to Alaina's lips. She quickly latched on and began to suck loudly, happy now that she was being fed. Jane didn't take his eyes off of the baby; it was his favorite sight now.
"You okay?" he asked her, "did you get some coffee or more water?"
"I'll be fine," Lisbon told him. She leaned over and kissed Alaina's head, gently stroking her soft wisps of brown hair. She sighed heavily. "I'm going to go to bed, just lock up when you leave all right?"
"Of course," Jane replied but his eyes were still captivated by his daughter.
Lisbon took a few steps away but stopped in the doorway. He heard her pause but he didn't move. Then her voice was very low. "I'm sorry."
Now he looked up and met her eyes. "Don't apologize, not to me. You know I'm the one who needs to say it the most."
She didn't disagree with him but seemed to mull over that for a moment, as if debating whether she should agree with his sentiments or not. Finally she just let it go. "I'll see you tomorrow." Then Jane was alone with his daughter once more.
Alaina let out a small sigh of contentment, which made Jane smile. When the bottle was empty Jane threw a burping rag over his shoulder and rubbed her back until she softly burped before sitting down in the rocking chair Lisbon's brothers had sent her, still cradling his daughter. He loved looking at her, seeing the parts of him that helped create this beautiful child, his lips, his fingers, the shape of her eyes, all pieces that he had contributed.
Some nights he would lie in bed and look at the picture of her Grace had taken in the hospital, a small pink knit cap on her head, her eyes turned up to look at her mother. Lisbon's face beheld real wonder and love for the child in her arms, the photograph not able to hide the tears in her eyes. Jane always wondered where he would have fit in the picture if he'd been there, would he have been by her side, gently cupping Alaina's head?
In the end Jane knew that all the wondering in the world was useless because it would not change the past. The only thing he could do was strive to fix the future, he knew he would spend his entire life atoning for how much he'd wronged this little girl and her mother before she was born.
Jane smiled down at the baby who was drifting back to sleep. Oh what a beautiful future it was going to be.
Her alarm clock screamed at Lisbon to get up the next morning. She groaned and rolled over to slap it, tempted to simply hurl the thing against the wall. Her brain was pounding in her skull, drumming out a bongo beat that was extremely painful. Somehow she managed to crawl out of bed while the room spun around in a circle.
Eventually she righted herself and was able to keep her eyes open past the searing sunlight that streamed through her windows. That was when she saw the glass of water and two small aspirin tablets resting by her bed. They certainly hadn't been there when she'd gone to sleep.
So Jane was exploring her home without permission again.
It went against the grain to accept anything from Jane anymore but Lisbon was desperate to get rid of this hangover. So she popped the aspirin in her mouth and gulped down the water greedily. She was setting the glass back down on the table when the baby monitor clicked to life and she heard the low whimpers of her daughter.
She sighed and stood up to her feet before making her way into the nursery. "Hey sweetheart," Lisbon said softly before picking her up and cuddling her against her chest. "Are you hungry?"
Alaina hiccupped a little and nuzzled up against her mother, she wanted to nurse. Lisbon bit her lip at the rush of guilt. After all of the alcohol she'd had last night there was no way she was going to breastfeed her daughter until it was all out of her system for good. Jane had been right, it was a mistake to do something like that. She was selfish thinking that she could find solace in a wild drunken night when she had a two-month-old daughter at home.
Lisbon leaned down to kiss Alaina. "I'm sorry, baby. I wasn't a good mommy last night." But at least she had some milk stored in the fridge; her daughter wouldn't go hungry for long.
The baby whimpered for a good few minutes while Lisbon warmed up a bottle for her but she quieted down as soon as she began to feed. Lisbon sat down on the sofa and quietly held her daughter, gazing down at the beautiful creature in her arms. Much like Jane had done last night.
She closed her eyes against the memories.
"I didn't want you to do something foolish, to make some drunken mistake."
"Like you did?"
"Alaina isn't a mistake."
"That isn't what you said six months ago."
Mistakes. It seemed like that was the story of her life, one stupid mistake after another. Jane said Alaina wasn't a mistake last night, she agreed with that; her daughter might have been the one thing she did right.
But it was difficult for Lisbon to forget that Alaina was the result of a mistake, a stupid mistake that never should have happened. A mistake that led to the worst nine months of her life. She pressed her lips into a fine line and looked back down at her daughter, noting her long graceful fingers that she had inherited from Jane.
Jane. She had a child with Jane, that seemed ludicrous but here she was, in her arms. She couldn't forget that. She couldn't forget that of all of the people who had mistreated her over the years, be it hardnosed bosses or her drunken abusive father, none of them had hurt her as badly as Jane had. None of them had nearly destroyed her like he did.
All because of this.
Lisbon leaned down to kiss one round cheek. "Mommy loves you so much."
She wasn't so sure about her father though.
Eleven Months Earlier
Ten years to the day that Jane's wife and daughter were brutally killed Lisbon decided to make sure Jane took a personal day. He didn't fight her on it and she was grateful for it, she hoped that he would handle the anniversary quietly. Maybe he would spend the day watching old home movies and looking through photographs, remembering those sweet memories that he cherished.
Lisbon knew that it was a foolish dream.
The rest of team noticed Jane's absence but didn't talk about it much. They knew the significance of this day as well as she did. All they did ask was if she thought Jane was going to be okay. She didn't know.
She spent most of the day waiting for her phone to ring with bad news. What if Jane did something really dumb? What if he ran away again for six months? What if he was found dead in a ditch somewhere? Her mind raced with possibilities, each one getting progressively worse.
It was late that evening after the rest of the team had already filed out of the office that her phone finally did ring. It was Jane.
Her heart pounded in her chest as she answered it. "Jane?"
"Is this Teresa Lisbon?" The voice of a strange woman asked.
Lisbon immediately started to panic. "Yes, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Jane is a little…intoxicated and yours was his most recently dialed number. Do you think you can pick him up? He shouldn't drive home."
She actually breathed a sigh of relief. Jane wasn't dead or missing, he was just drunk off his ass.
"Yeah, I'll be there."
Twenty minutes later Lisbon saw a very haggard and drunk Jane at a restaurant bar. She smiled sadly at him, just glad to see that he was alive. So she came up behind him and pretended to be amused. "Well at least this time you didn't almost burn down the CBI."
He turned to look at her with bloodshot and empty eyes. "What are you doing here, Lisbon?"
"I'm taking you home."
Jane didn't fight her and she was glad. Not when she gently tugged on his arm and guided him to her car. He didn't say a word as she drove him to the motel room she knew he lived in and wished he didn't. Finally she put the car in park but didn't say anything for a while. "Are you okay, Jane?"
He was staring out the window with a look of absolute defeat. "Ten years, it's been ten years and he's still out there."
"We'll get him."
"I haven't yet."
"We've gotten close," she reminded him, "and one day he is going to make a mistake and we will be there. He's already messed up before, we'll be ready when he does it again." But Jane didn't say anything; he didn't look like he believed her. She sighed heavily. "Come on, let's get you into bed."
Lisbon helped him out of the car, keeping a firm hold on him as she led him up the stairs. He wasn't very good on his feet at the moment, no surprise given the amount of alcohol in his system. It took a few moments of her digging through his pockets before she found his room key, hidden in his vest pocket. "You know this is sexual harassment," Jane quipped. Oh good, funny drunk Jane was beginning to emerge.
"Shut up," she told him as she finally opened the door and ushered him inside.
She sat him down on the bed and knelt down to take his shoes off. Believe it or not this wasn't the first time she'd had to do this. The memory of Jane drunk off his ass during the infamous Santa Clause case bubbled to the surface and she had to bite back a few giggles as she remembered him that night. "I'm just a little home, could you take me drunk."
"Something amuse you, Lisbon?"
"Just remembering the last time I had to do this," she told him. Lisbon stood up and leaned down to unbutton his vest so she could take it off and make him more comfortable. That might have been a mistake.
Jane smelled like cheap whiskey and sweat but his warm breath fanned her face. She missed a button three times before she finally managed to slip it through; now her fingers were beginning to shake a little. She had to get this under control.
Lisbon finished unbuttoning his vest and looked up only to stare right into his eyes. For a very long time they just stared at one another, the only sound was their heavy breathing and her heart pounding in her chest.
Jane reached up to take one lock of her hair between his thumb and forefinger. "Do you remember what I said to you six months ago, after I saw you in the church?"
Her breath caught in her throat, she knew exactly what he was talking about. "You said you didn't remember."
"I lied." His free hand reached up to tug on her arm, trying to get her onto the bed. She was so stunned she actually did sit down but not as close as he wanted.
"Jane…what are you doing?" Even though she did know, she knew and that is what terrified her.
"What I know you want."
He reached around to cradle her neck and pulled her flush against him and suddenly began to kiss her.
His lips were soft and sweet, he tasted like whiskey and warmth. It was a heady combination and she wanted more than anything to lose herself in it. She felt that rush, that tingly feeling, the burst of pleasure that was running through her veins. Her body screamed at her to continue but the logical part of her head was still working.
She pulled away, but didn't move far. "Jane, we can't do this."
"Why not?" He asked, his lips moving to her place soft kisses on her cheek.
"Because you're drunk."
"Yes," he agreed, "but that won't stop you."
He leaned down and began to kiss her again. She opened her mouth to tell him why he had to stop but that became her opening her mouth to let him slip his tongue in. Lisbon lost herself in that kiss for a moment, her hands unwittingly slipping over his chest, around his neck to become buried in his blonde curls. It was amazing, wonderful, what she'd always imagined it would be.
But it was wrong.
Jane reached around to help her slip off her jacket and Lisbon managed to finally tear her mouth away from his. "Jane, why do you want to do this?"
He stopped and looked into her eyes. All she saw were blue-green oceans of pain and sadness, but lust was there too. That look made the heat pool in her belly and she felt her pulse rise as it triggered her own desire. "Because for one night…or maybe just a few hours…I want to forget."
Then he was attacking her again, even inebriated he realized that the best way to get her to stop thinking was to kiss her senselessly. The more he kissed her, the more she felt the warmth of his touch as his fingertips skirted the bare skin her shirt revealed, the more she lost the desire to stop. Somehow she wound up on her back with Jane on top of her and she was doing nothing to resist him.
She wanted this. She had for a very long time.
Lisbon knew they were quickly moving past the point of no return. But there was one last hint of lucidity in her as Jane began to nuzzle the warm skin of her throat. She fought back a moan and bit her lip.
When his hand snuck its way underneath her top to cup her breast she gave it one last shot. "Jane," she told him softly, "you're going to regret this in the morning."
He closed his eyes briefly and let his breath waft across her face. Then he opened his eyes and looked deeply into hers. "I don't care."
Jane leaned down and kissed her again.
That was it, there was no more fight left in her.
She was lost.
It was early in the morning when Lisbon opened her eyes. She'd only been asleep for a couple of hours; it was still dark out, the only light coming from the streetlights outside. She turned her head to see that Jane was asleep for once, breathing deeply. He looked at peace, if still a bit of a mess; a shower and a shave could fix that.
But nothing could fix what happened.
She knew that Jane was going to regret what they had done when he woke up but she was already a few hours ahead of him.
She had to get out of here.
Lisbon slowly eased herself out of the bed, gently untangling herself from Jane's arm that he had wrapped around her. He shifted a little but didn't wake up and she breathed a sigh of relief. The last thing she wanted to do was have the conversation now.
Her clothes were strung out on the floor by the bed. She didn't even bother putting on her undergarments, just stuffed them in her jacket pocket in her haste to leave. Her keys were on the table and she grabbed them quickly.
But she stopped and looked at him for a moment. He was asleep and at peace and for a second she had the territorial claims every woman had for a man they had slept with. For those few hours…he'd been hers.
But he wasn't hers. No, that gold ring on his finger proved that he belonged to another woman. A ghost that was always going to come first. No matter how much she wanted it to be otherwise…Jane would never be hers.
"You're so stupid, Teresa," she thought to herself. "This was a great idea. The man is consumed by guilt and self loathing, so of course the best thing to do on the tenth anniversary of his family's death is to have sex with him!"
She gave him one last long look, one more moment of longing before quietly walking out of the door. She had no idea what was going to happen now, in fact there was only one thing she did know.
It had been a mistake.
Jane was actually feeling very good as he walked into the CBI, spending a couple of hours with his daughter had given him the peace he'd needed to have a restful night of sleep. Not that he wasn't troubled by what had happened, though he had to admit, he didn't regret dragging Lisbon out of that bar. Oh no, that was something he was proud of.
He just regretted that there was still too much strife between them. That she couldn't accept his help with their daughter and she couldn't trust him to stay. But he wasn't mad at her, how could he be? No, everything that was horrible between them was his own fault. He could regret all of his words and actions but the only other thing he could do was try to atone for them.
He was ready to find his couch and go about his morning routine but was caught up short when he saw his couch was occupied.
Lisbon was sitting there with a stack of paperwork next to her and their daughter on her knee.
Jane felt that same warmth invade his heart at the sight of Alaina, happily sucking on her pacifier and reaching up to tug on her mother's hair. She was beautiful. They both were.
"Hello," Jane said sweetly, walking towards them, eager to touch his little girl. "Well what are you doing here, sweetheart?"
Lisbon blushed and met his eyes. "I hadn't finished the reports last night so I came in early…daycare doesn't open up for another twenty minutes."
Jane nodded and sat down on the couch next to her. "Well then, if you want to finish that I'll gladly take her off your hands."
He wasn't surprised that she hesitated but he knew that the reason she was sitting on his couch instead of in her office was precisely for this reason. She carefully placed Alaina in his waiting arms and collected her paperwork. Jane managed to tear his eyes away from his daughter long enough to meet hers. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Lisbon told him quickly.
He studied her, noticing the still slightly red eyes and the haggard look on her face. She was still suffering a little from her hangover. But she hadn't done anything foolish, that was something that had to help.
Lisbon stood up and walked back to her office without a word, leaving him alone with their daughter. He sighed a little, wishing that she would stay with him but she hadn't forgiven him yet. It was sad that they couldn't even sit down and play with their daughter together, but again, he only had himself to blame.
Jane turned his attention back to the baby in his arms. He grinned and held her up so she was looking at him. "Hi, Alaina. You want to spend some time with daddy? Does that sound good?"
His heart melted when Alaina gave him her beautiful smile, she reached up with one little hand to his face. He kissed her fingers when they passed over his lips and then tucked her in close to his chest. He could never get enough of her.
Jane barely noticed as the rest of the team filed into the bullpen but he did catch each of them stopping to stare at him out of the corner of his eye. Grace glanced at him and then primly turned her attention to her computer, making a point to ignore him. That made sense; she was the one who was angriest with him the most. He could bear that easily, after everything that she did for Lisbon during her pregnancy he owed Grace a debt that he couldn't repay.
Rigsby stared at him a little longer but had a similar reaction as Grace. He was reacting like a father, he didn't understand why Jane had handled everything the way he did. To his credit, neither did Jane. Cho was the one who was the most relaxed, he didn't say anything either but at least he wasn't surprised like everyone else, well Cho had been the one who knew even before him that he would come around.
Alaina turned her head and looked out the window, she was captivated by a sparrow that was flying outside. "I know," Jane said to her softly, "it's a bird." She smiled and the pacifier fell out of her mouth as she raised one hand towards the sparrow. He simply gazed at her for a long moment before bending down and kissing the top of her head. "You're so beautiful."
But his time with Alaina was over far too quickly. About fifteen minutes later Lisbon came in with her the diaper bag over her shoulder. "I have to take her to daycare," she told him, her voice was firm.
"I could do that," Jane pointed out, "you did put my name down when you registered her right?"
"Yes," Lisbon grumbled. She hadn't been very happy about that, but she had given in when he reminded her that logically it would be best if he was her emergency contact since he was her father. She straightened up though, "but it's her first week, I should be the one who drops her off since I'm the primary parent."
That was true. They'd had an equal role in her conception but there was no denying who was the more prominent one in Alaina's life.
Jane looked down at the baby and then back up at Lisbon. "Does she have to leave now?"
"We can't have a baby here, Jane," Lisbon reminded him.
She was right and he couldn't very well tell her otherwise. So he reluctantly handed his daughter back to her mother. But he held on to one little hand, she held on tight to his thumb. "Can I come over and see her tonight?"
Lisbon was obviously caught off guard by his question. Certainly not by the question itself, since he asked it every day. Rather it was the time. Like clockwork he asked every evening, calling her or stopping her before she left for the night to ask if he could come by and see their child.
That was their agreement. He would ask and she could tell him no if she wished.
He was pushing his luck and he knew it. She never let him see Alaina two days in a row. But he wanted more time and the words simply took on a life of their own.
She considered it for a moment, looking down at Alaina and then their joined hands, her small fist wrapped around his thumb. Lisbon met his eyes and nodded. "All right, you can come tonight, for a little while," she tacked on to the end.
Jane grinned, immediately feeling better knowing that he would get more time with her that night. "Thank you."
Lisbon gave him a numb nod and he finally pulled away from Alaina so she could leave. He watched them go with a wistful look and resumed his seat on the couch.
The three other members of the team were silent but he knew they had been watching the whole thing. No one said anything and at least two of them still simmered in anger. That was fine.
Lisbon wasn't the only one he'd hurt.
Lisbon knew as soon as she saw Jane again that she had guessed correctly. He regretted what happened between them. She did too, but perhaps not in the same way. She regretted that things were probably ruined between them and she regretted that she was the cause for the added guilt in Jane's eyes.
But she wasn't entirely sure if she regretted the memories. Still, there was no way she was ever going to let him know about that.
He avoided her most of the morning and she did the same. He hid in his attic and she wiled away the time in her office. It was by chance that they met up in the break room. He was stirring a cup of tea and she had been seeking out the coffee pot.
Their eyes met and there was no way they could look away. They were completely alone, no one was around and both of them were all too aware of that fact. Lisbon swallowed heavily and tried to be brave. "Hey."
Jane simply nodded but didn't take his eyes off her.
This was bad and ridiculous. They had to say something, had to acknowledge it. Maybe if they both agreed that it was a bad idea then they might be able to work past it.
"Are you…are you going to pretend you don't remember again?"
Jane looked at her darkly and shook his head. "There isn't much of a point, now is there?"
She sighed and stepped forward. "Jane, I…I'm sorry."
"No," he told her quickly, "you don't need to be."
She was a bit surprised by that statement but was glad that he didn't seem mad at her. If anything he looked upset with himself. That made her sad, if he was angry at himself it meant he really was feeling terrible about what they did.
He straightened and put on a cold mask. "It was a mistake, Lisbon."
She nodded. "Yes it was."
"It's done, it happened. We can't take it back," Jane stated, "so we move on. We don't talk about it again."
Lisbon didn't miss that he never mentioned, "forgetting about it" maybe he simply knew that was impossible. But she couldn't argue with his points. "Okay."
"Good," Jane said simply.
And apparently he meant it. He kept his cup of tea in his hand and walked around her to leave the room. She stood there for a moment, staring at the spot he had been standing in. She took in a deep breath and let it out.
That was it. It was over.
Three weeks, two urine soaked sticks and one doctor's appointment later, Lisbon realized that it definitely was not over.
"No, Teresa. You do not have the flu or a virus or mono, you are pregnant."
"Oh God," Lisbon breathed and buried her face in her hands.
Her doctor put the file aside. "I take it this was an unplanned pregnancy."
"You can say that again."
She took a seat in that little rolling chair next to the exam table. "Well, Teresa. You do have options, especially this early in the pregnancy. I have the name of an excellent councilor if you need some help deciding."
Options. That was right, she could fix this. Make it so that it really was over. That would be the best thing for everyone involved. She wouldn't have to take time off work and Jane would be able to continue on with his broken existence.
Maybe she could do that…maybe.
But Jane wouldn't want that. He'd been a father before; surely he'd have an opinion about all of this. What if he wanted it? What if this could help him?
She didn't know.
But apparently they did have to talk about it again.
It was around one o'clock when Grace stopped by Lisbon's office with a soft smile. "How about lunch?"
Lisbon looked up from her computer and smiled back, "Sure." Grace waited while she gathered her things. It was becoming a routine of theirs, sharing a lunch together three or four times a week.
There were two things that Lisbon didn't regret about her pregnancy, her daughter and her strong bond with Grace.
They were heading out to the café across the street. "Hey, can we stop by my car?" Grace asked, "I got some really cute things for Alaina that I'm dying to show you."
"How can I say no to that?"
Grace hadn't been kidding, she had no less than four shopping bags filled with clothes in the back seat of her car. "Oh my God," Lisbon said, "did you win a free trip to Babies R Us?"
"I just couldn't help myself," Grace explained and began pulling out clothes. "But look how cute these are!"
She held up one red dress with white polka dots, similar to Minnie Mouse's outfit. "That is adorable," Lisbon admitted.
"Look it's got a matching hat!"
Grace held up several more dresses, a couple of onesies and one very soft blanket that Lisbon hoped would last ten minutes before Alaina spit up on it.
"But this is my favorite," Grace told her before holding up one last dress.
It was pink, but not just any pink, it was four different shades of pink. The dress was like a giant fluffy cake with the skirt made up of several tiers, each one a darker color of pink. It looked like something a ballerina baby would wear.
"Oh my," Lisbon said and tried to put on a happy face.
"Isn't it cute?"
"Oh it's something."
Grace knew Lisbon's look and lowered the dress. "I know, it's girly."
Lisbon nodded, "No one would mistake her for a boy in that."
Grace shook her head and gave her a look. "You hate it don't you?"
"I'm just not sure if it's…practical," Lisbon admitted, "She's not going to be in a ballet."
That made Grace smile a little. "Well the receipt is in the bag, you can return it and get something else since you can't stand to dress her up in anything girly."
"Hey, she wears dresses!" Lisbon pointed out, "I just don't want her looking like Barbie's wedding cake."
Grace held up the dress and looked at it again. Then her eyes widened. "Oh my God! It does!"
Now both of them laughed as they took the bags over to Lisbon's car, stuffing them into the trunk. "You didn't have to get her so much stuff," Lisbon pointed out as they made their way over to the café again.
"I'm her godmother," Grace reminded her, "isn't that a part of my duties? Being able to spoil my goddaughter rotten?"
"Yes, right up there with spiritual guidance and protecting her immortal soul."
They took a seat at one of the tables outside. Grace ordered a club sandwich while Lisbon stuck with a chef's salad with fat free dressing. She was still trying to lose all of her pregnancy weight and that meant exercise and not listening to the side of her brain that really wanted a hamburger.
"I still think you went a little overboard," Lisbon said, continuing their conversation.
"Well," Grace began, "I kind of had to do it. The case was really upsetting and Rigsby kept talking about how all he wanted to do was go home and hug Ben. I know what he meant."
"You could have come over and seen Alaina."
"I didn't want to disturb you," Grace told her, "so instead I went shopping for her, it helped to know that there was a baby out there that has an amazing mom."
Lisbon choked on her water and shook her head. "I wouldn't say that."
She sighed. "Lets just say that you handled your feelings a lot better than I did."
Grace put down her glass of iced tea and kept her eyes on Lisbon. "What did you do?"
Lisbon shook her head. "I was upset after everything that happened so I decided to just let loose. I called my neighbor's daughter, she babysat Alaina while I took a cab to a bar, got drunk and almost hooked up with a stranger."
Grace blinked a couple of times. "Wow."
"That's not even the craziest part," Lisbon told her. Grace actually leaned forward as if she was on the edge of her seat. "Jane showed up and dragged me out of there."
"Jane followed me to the bar, got me out of there and drove me home."
Grace fell back against her chair. "Wow. What happened next?"
"Nothing." Grace didn't look convinced and Lisbon gave her a look. "No, Jane and I didn't sleep together. Not even drunk could I do that again. All he did was take me home, fed Alaina and left."
"Why did he follow you then?"
"He said he didn't want me to do something stupid," Lisbon muttered, she took a sip of her water. "He was probably right, I shouldn't have acted like a twenty-five year old, I should have stayed home with my daughter."
"You were just upset."
"That's not an excuse," Lisbon told her, "But I'm not going to do that again. Alaina is my life, I'm devoted to her."
Their food arrived and they both fell silent as they ate for a couple of minutes. Then Grace asked the question that had really been plaguing her. "How are things with Jane?"
Lisbon shrugged. "Their fine."
She put down her fork and folded her hands on the table. "All right, they are the same. He comes over when I give him permission and leaves when I tell him to."
"Have you forgiven him yet?"
"No, I'm not sure if I ever will." Lisbon looked down at her glass of ice water, seeing the condensation drip down the glass. "Do you think I should?"
"No," Grace said quickly, "He treated you like crap, I'm surprised you even let him be around Alaina."
"He's her father, as much as I'd love to change that fact, I can't. The best thing for Alaina is to have her father in her life…even if he is Jane."
"Not all fathers deserve to have kids."
"Jane never mistreated Alaina, he mistreated me."
"He mistreated you while you were pregnant!" Grace exclaimed, "How can you say that doesn't involve her?"
Lisbon groaned and flopped her head down on the table. "I don't know how else to handle this, Grace. If Jane is serious about being a father to Alaina then I have to give him some chance to prove it."
Grace was quiet for a bit. "Do you think he'll change his mind again?"
"I don't know," Lisbon admitted, "I'm trying to keep them at some distance so that if he does then maybe it won't hurt so much.
"Do you really think that will work?"
"No." Lisbon groaned again and covered her face with her hands. "Do you think he's serious about this?"
Grace chewed on a bite of her sandwich and thought about it. "I'm not sure about anything with him…but he was great with her this morning."
Lisbon's look softened. "He always is."
"You said he could come over tonight," Grace reminded her.
"Yes," Lisbon said softly.
"Are you thinking about letting him have more time with her?"
"No, not yet. I can't trust him, Grace…I just…I can't."
Grace smiled sadly at her. "I know."
Lisbon sighed and shook her head. "Let's talk about something else, something that I can actually wrap my head around."
The other woman laughed a little and sighed. "Then tell me about Alaina, she's gotten so big lately."
"I know!" Lisbon said, relaxing now, "she's even starting to recognize her reflection in the mirror."
The rest of the lunch hour was devoted to talking about her child. Jane never crossed their lips again.
Jane came over that evening like she said he could. Lisbon opened the door but didn't smile at him; she didn't even return his hello. "Alaina's in her bassinet," she told him before letting him inside.
He nodded and tried to his disappointment at her chilly attitude before walking inside. Alaina was lying in her bassinet, kicking her little legs and gurgling a little to herself. "Hello there, little one," Jane said in greeting. Alaina let out a little squeal as he picked her up and she actually grinned up at him.
"She likes you," Lisbon stated, her voice was flat though.
"Of course she does," Jane said, kissing the top of her head. "I'm her daddy."
Lisbon nodded but didn't take much joy in his statement of fact. She stood there for a few moments just watching him with her. Alaina was content, lying up against Jane's chest and reaching for one of the buttons on her vest. It was a beautiful sight but Lisbon was still trying to keep him at a distance.
"Now that you are here, I'm going to go take a shower." She declared. That was the best thing about Jane coming over occasionally, it let her find time to do a couple of things just for her.
Jane just nodded his head but didn't take his eyes off Alaina. While Lisbon was taking a long hot shower that did a lot to help with the tension in her muscles and her tired mind, Jane was all to happy to look after their child.
He laid back on the couch with Alaina on his chest, she was fascinated by faces right now and kept running her little fingers on his cheeks, over his lips and nose, her big blue eyes completely transfixed by what was in front of her. "I love you, Alaina," Jane told her softly.
She smiled when she heard his voice, she always did that. Jane knew why she was always happy to hear him, he didn't come over enough for her to get used to it. She could recognize his voice but didn't associate it yet with anyone but a familiar stranger. He knew that Alaina was recognizing her mother; able to tell from sight and voice that her mother was close by. She didn't know him though, he didn't see her often enough.
Jane sighed and took one of her hands and kissed her palm. "Soon, sweetheart."
But Jane regretted that promise immediately, he knew that he was going to stay and do whatever it took to get Lisbon's blessing but he honestly had no idea how long it was going to take.
Lisbon came down a half an hour later wearing comfortable sleep clothes and with the ends of her hair still slightly damp. She did look like she felt a little better though. "How is she?"
"Perfect," Jane told her honestly, "she's just about to fall asleep."
It was the truth. Alaina's head was up against his chest and her eyes were slowly drifting shut. Lisbon smiled and smoothed her fine brown hair. "She'll wake up in a couple of hours though, wanting to be fed."
Jane looked up at Lisbon. "How are you handling it?"
"I'm fine," she told him quickly.
"She isn't sleeping through the night yet so it has to be rough."
"I'm fine, Jane."
He sighed and gently placed his now sleeping daughter in her bassinet. "I just want to help, Lisbon."
She shook her head, no longer looking at him. "I don't need your help."
"Jane, just don't," she cut him off. "We have an agreement, you can come over and see her but don't try to pretend that anything has changed."
"I'm not asking you to trust me," Jane told her, "I know that you can't believe any of this yet, I also know that the only person I can blame for all of this is myself. I just want you to know that I can do more than just give you an hour to yourself once or twice a week."
Lisbon turned to look at him and he still saw cold ice in her eyes. "Don't tell me how to raise my daughter."
"I'm not telling you how to raise our daughter," Jane corrected her, "I just…I want more time with her."
"I can't give you that," Lisbon told him honestly, "not yet, not now. You treated me worse than anyone ever has before, in my whole life no one has hurt me the way you did. What right do you have to ask me to give you more?"
Jane looked down at his sleeping daughter. "Because I had an equal part in creating her."
"What about afterwards? When you told me you wanted nothing to do with her? When you ignored both of us? When you gave me an ultimatum and I refused so you didn't talk to me for months? As far as I'm concerned you are just one step above a sperm donor until you can prove to me that you aren't just going to walk away again."
"And you don't think I've done that?"
Jane sighed heavily, no longer hiding his sadness and pain. The truth was harsh and cold and no more than he deserved. "Then answer me this; can you find fault with what I've done with her now?"
Lisbon thought about his question for a minute and looked away, he knew he had her there. "You've been doing well these past few weeks," she admitted but her voice was flat.
"That's not going to change."
"We'll see." She looked back at him with a determined look on her face. "You should go, Alaina will sleep for another few hours and we both have to work tomorrow."
Jane wanted to fight her on it but he didn't have a leg to stand on. So he nodded his head. "All right," he said standing up. He took a few steps towards the doorway but stopped. "Can I come see her tomorrow?"
He knew the answer before he asked it, but it still hurt to hear it.
Lisbon couldn't deny her nerves as she made her way up the steps towards Jane's attic. This room always reminded her how worried she was for her friend, that he was still very much a broken man and his penchant for hiding out in the attic only served to highlight this. She had no idea how he would react to the bombshell she was going to throw at him.
But would it be a surprise? Jane was aware of so much, was it possible he saw the signs as well? She wanted to believe that but Lisbon knew that if Jane had figured her out then he would have confronted her. No, for once she had a secret from him and there was no possible way she could keep it. She had to do the right thing, even if doing it terrified her.
Jane was sitting casually by the window, staring out to the street below. A cup of tea was in his hand but since no steam rose from it she could only assume it was getting cold. For a minute she stood in the doorway and debated over whether or not she should continue. It could wait another day perhaps? What was she thinking? This couldn't wait, it was too important!
"Is there something you want?" Jane's voice actually made her jump. He turned around in his seat but didn't stand up. His whole demeanor was calm but distant, the same manner he had been treating her for the last few weeks.
She knew the reasons why and she couldn't blame him, she was doing the same thing wasn't she? They both wanted to pretend like that night never happened, they both wanted to ignore the ax that was currently hanging over their heads. If they confronted it then they might lose everything that they had built over the years so they had simply agreed to remain silent on the matter.
But she couldn't afford silence anymore.
"Jane…we need to talk about what happened."
He bristled a little but his expression didn't change. "It was a mistake, we both know that."
She didn't say anything, didn't do anything. A week ago she would have agreed with him whole-heartedly but now she wasn't so sure. "We still need to talk about it."
He shook his head. "It's over, Lisbon. It's done, nothing more needs to be said."
For a long while she stood there and stared at him. She had to tell him the truth. She had to do it. But it took so long for her tongue to move. So many possible ways to begin flashed through her mind but in the end her lips just blurted out the truth.
For a few seconds Lisbon thought that Jane hadn't actually heard her. But he had. To her surprise he gave her a confused look and smiled warily. "No," he told her, it was as if he thought this was a joke…or wished it were.
She shook her head and watched as his eyes darkened. "No," he repeated standing to his feet, now he was several shades paler and he shook his head jerkily. "No, you can't be."
He began to pace a little, moving back and forth in front of her while she remained stationary. She knew he was thinking and processing, she'd been doing that a lot herself these past few days. "Are you sure?"
Lisbon nodded. "I had an appointment this morning."
"And it's mine?"
That question stung, mostly because Jane knew as well as she did that it was wholly unnecessary. She hadn't slept with another man in months. "Of course it's yours, I wouldn't be telling you if it wasn't," she snapped.
But Jane didn't seem bothered by her anger. He barely acknowledged it. If anything he looked like he was going to be sick, it was quite a shock and his reaction was understandable. "I know this is a lot to take in," she told him calmly, "I'm still trying to figure everything out myself." Lisbon took a step towards him and held her hands out in a defense measure. "I'm not trying to put pressure on you but I thought…well you deserve to know."
Jane nodded his head. "Thank you for your concern but I'm not sure it was necessary."
Now she was the one confused. "What?"
"I'm sure you'll have this taken care of quickly."
Lisbon blinked a couple of times while a painful knot twisted in her stomach. "Excuse me?"
"I assume you've already set an appointment."
"For what?" she asked aloud but when she saw how dark and forbidding his eyes were suddenly the answer became clear. Her lips parted in a silent gasp and she felt the blood drain from her face completely. Her mouth was dry which is why her voice was so soft. "You…you want me to get rid of it?" It was a question because she couldn't believe he was saying this, Jane wouldn't do something like this, not to her.
But he shrugged. "I'd have thought the solution was obvious."
She gaped at him. "No," she said softly and then her voice grew louder. "No, no it's not."
"You can't honestly think you can have this child."
"And why not?" she asked, her body was becoming rigid with anger. What was he thinking deciding her life for her?
"It's entirely inconvenient," he pointed out, "we both said it was a mistake."
"That…that doesn't make the baby a mistake," she stammered out. She wasn't sure why she was defending this when she'd had similar thoughts just hours ago.
"You have run away from every opportunity to have a child," he reminded her, "your entire life is your job. You would have to make sacrifices that you don't really want to make, it would certainly damage your career."
"There are more important things than a job," she stated and then couldn't believe she had. Her entire life had been about her work…when had that changed?
"Yes," she hissed out, "maybe. Maybe I want this baby, did you think about that?" He looked surprised by her words and the truth was…so was she. Just a few minutes ago she had been considering every option and now…now she was beginning to see that she had made her choice a long time ago.
Lisbon looked up at him in shock. "I want it," she whispered. Then her voice became stronger, firmer. "I want it."
For a long moment he stared at her with a look that could only be described as horror. "You can't keep it, Lisbon. You can't."
"No!" His voice was loud now. "No, I can't be a father again. I can't have another child."
"So this is all about you?" she asked sarcastically, "about what you want? What about me? What about what I want?"
Jane stepped forward and grabbed her shoulders firmly, looking deep into her eyes. She saw a lot of fear and anger in his gaze, so much that for a second she was actually afraid of him. "You came here to tell me and you have." Jane told her, his words short and clipped. "And I told you what I wanted. I want you to get rid of this mistake."
It happened so quickly that Lisbon couldn't quite believe it. One second she was gaping up at him while he had the darkest look she'd ever seen in his eyes. Then her mind registered what he said and she snapped. She didn't feel her fist make contact with his face, but the next thing she knew he was reeling back and had one hand over his nose.
"Forget it you son of a bitch," she spat out.
They stared at one another with the anger crackling between them like a roaring flame. Her words were measured and calm but laced with real hatred. "I'm going to have this baby, Jane. Whether you like it or not. I'll do this on my own if I have to."
She waited for what seemed like eternity, waited for him to tell her that he was wrong. That he hadn't meant it, that he would want to be involved with his child.
But Jane just stood there, his eyes dark pools of anguish, pain and fear.
Lisbon nodded her head. "Fine." Then she turned around and left, running away from his attic as quickly as she could. He'd hurt her enough that night; the last thing she wanted was to give him the satisfaction of seeing her tears.
A/N: And there it is. The first of many actions by Jane that is going to make you despise him for a while. But he came around...eventually. But what did it? How did Jane go from begging Lisbon to have an abortion to begging her for more time? That's part of the journey, but be ready for a lot heart ache.
This was Jane's first big mistake...it won't be his last.