Stuck in an Elevator With Patrick Jane
It was a Tuesday afternoon. He could remember that because Lisbon was always in a good mood on Tuesdays. This was the day she had her 6:00 a.m. yoga class. In a Patrick's mind, he knew he could get away with just a little more than usual on Tuesdays. This Tuesday he was strolling in the CBI offices an hour later than he usually came in. Patrick hadn't been late in vain. He had a drink tray full of Starbuck's coffees and a small bag of scones clutched in his left hand. The team would be less cranky after they loaded themselves up on caffeine and sugar.
Looking forward to a hassle free day, Patrick stepped into the lobby elevator.
"Hold it!" A feminine voice echoed into the car. Moments later, a girl came skidding toward the elevator. Patrick stuck his foot in the door to stop it from closing.
"Thank you," the girl sighed, finally settling herself in the elevator.
Patrick took in her appearance. She wore a coat that was a little too heavy for the current season. Underneath, she'd tried a simple, but elegant, scarf (probably the most expensive thing included in her outfit) around her neck. This coupled with her simple, white Oxford and black pants told him she was an intern, possibly still in college, who was working at the security agency the CBI shared their office building with.
At Patrick's scrutiny, the girl began fiddling nervously with her scarf.
"Nice scarf," He commented, lightly.
"Oh," she sounded almost startled. "Thanks."
They lapsed into another momentary silence watching the numbers climb: Third floor, fourth floor – The elevator creaked violently, lights flickering, before it came to a slow stop.
"What happened?" The girl asked him.
"We're stuck," he responded, setting the coffee and scones on the floor and going over to press the alarm button.
"What's your name?" Patrick asked, fiddling with the elevator panel and trying to pry the elevator phone out of its compartment.
"Amanda," the girl answered, sitting down on the elevator floor.
"Well, I'm Patrick," he responded, not looking up.
"Hi," she shot back.
This time he stopped the fiddling and looked up at her,
"How long are we going to be stuck here?"
Patrick couldn't miss the slight tremor in her voice or the way she seemed to be clutching her bag.
"Amanda, are you claustrophobic?"
He sighed, heavily, giving up on the elevator panel and sitting down across from her. Amanda looked at him expectantly while he dug through his jacket pockets for his cell. He chuckled when he saw that he had no signal.
"W-What?" Amanda asked, crawling over to glance at the phone. "Oh great!"
"Such a typical scenario, isn't it?" Patrick went on, "Two strangers get stuck in an elevator on an otherwise perfect Tuesday morning."
"And I'm late," Amanda added.
"And one of them happens to be late for a very important appointment… First day of work?"
Her eyes widened.
"How did you know?"
She shifted to face him, instantly curious.
"Yeah, I want to know your secret."
He gave her a smile.
"The outfit gives it away. You're an intern, not fully in the working world quite yet, hence the slightly out of season coat. You want to be classy but make a good impression, hence the nice scarf. You're also a bit nervous as evidenced by how much you seem to be attached to your bag right now."
Amanda looked down at her hands, instantly removing them from the handles and settling them into her lap.
"Sorry," she immediately blurted.
"Nothing to be sorry for," Patrick told her. He kept his best reassuring face on. "Just take a deep breath." He nodded at her to do so.
A smile erupted on her face as she complied.
"Okay, deep breath. Did that."
He was still looking at her, and after a moment of silence, she felt compelled to continue.
"You know, I think I'm more nervous about the first day at my job than being stuck here."
"Why's that?" He almost chuckled while he handed her a coffee and the open bag of scones.
"Aren't these for someone?" Amanda asked, her hand poised over the bag.
"Well, yes, but they're not stuck in an elevator at the moment and currently facing their first day of work."
"Thanks." She reached for a blueberry scone on the top. He helped himself as well.
"So what do you do, Patrick? Do you regularly help freaked out girls in elevators on their first days of work?"
"No, actually. I'm a consultant for the CBI."
"Oh really? Do you do anything exciting?"
"Field work, solve crimes. I'd say it's fairly interesting."
"Sounds better than being an intern for Johnson's Home Security. 'The most high tech system around!'" She mimicked the well-known commercial which regularly aired on area cable.
"Okay, okay," Patrick held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. "If you're interested, I could look into getting you an interview with the CBI."
"Really? You have that kind of pull?"
"Well, my department might," he answered, vaguely.
Both jumped at the sudden ringing of Patrick's cell. He stood up, glancing at the caller ID.
"Lisbon!" He answered. "Great to hear from you."
"We're working on getting you out right now. The speaker system in the car seems to be malfunctioning. Is there anyone else in the elevator with you?"
"Yeah," he glanced at Amanda to be sure she was still okay. "There's an intern named Amanda. She's from Johnson's Home Security. Do me a favor and let their offices know she's here, thanks. Oh, and who would I ask about hiring an intern for our offices?"
Lisbon snorted in amusement,
"I will, and I have no idea. We can talk about this later when you're not stuck in an elevator. "
"Fair enough. How long do you think it's going to take them?"
There was some mumbling in the background as she consulted with who Patrick could only assume were the maintenance people.
"Great. See ya."
"See ya," Lisbon responded. He could hear the rolling of her eyes over the phone.
"Okay, fifteen minutes," he told Amanda, who was cautiously sipping at her coffee. He sat back down.
"How's the coffee?"
"A little too hot, but there's just enough cream and sugar. Perfect."
"Good. Keep drinking it. You'll need it."
"Well, besides your first day it's good to have something warm and sweet in your stomach if you're a little panicky. No offense, of course."
"None taken. I am glad ended up here with someone else. I would have been a mess by myself."
"Good timing, I guess."
"It's a little more than that I think. This is probably the best day I've had in awhile. At least the most interesting."
"Well, Amanda, this is probably the most relaxing day I've had in awhile."
"And all because we got stuck in an elevator," she mused.
"Not so scary after all I suppose?" He leaned down to catch her gaze.
Amanda just shrugged.
The elevator shuddered, suddenly. Both passengers got to their feet, hoping to finish their ascent. The car soon reached its destination on the eighth floor, and the doors opened. Lisbon stood there with one of the maintenance workers and a paramedic.
"Now there was no need for that," Patrick snorted at Lisbon, nodding his head toward the paramedic.
"It was a precaution." Then, as if noticing Amanda for the first time, she asked,
"Are you okay?"
Patrick reached back to put an arm around the girl's shoulders.
"We're just fine."
"Yeah, wasn't bad," the girl agreed, shrugging.
"The coffee, Jane," Lisbon stated, pointedly and indicating the drink tray still on the elevator floor.
"Oh right," he smiled, retrieving the drink tray and handing it to Lisbon.
He led Amanda out of the elevator past their three rescuers.
Lisbon just ignored the strange looks she was getting from the men standing on either side of her. Instead, she took a sip of the coffee that was marked for her.
"Too much cream," she called out to him. He just waved a dismissive hand back at her, continuing to walk Amanda down the hallway. Lisbon let out a small chuckle. This is why Tuesdays were her favorite days.