Chapter 1: Required

Wednesday, 10:32 AM

"Lisbon, I need your team to be there." Lisbon's boss stressed to the senior agent. The two were conversing in his office over the up and coming fundraising dinner.

"This is ridiculous." Lisbon argued, openly against the idea of her team attending. "Why my team?" She asked, finding the proposal absurd.

"You've closed the most cases in the department." Her boss reasoned, simply stating the facts. "It makes sense that the bureau wants to meet you socially."

"It makes no sense." Lisbon muttered. She was normally receptive to her boss's orders when it did not involve pointless conversations with the heads of the California Bureau.

"You and your team are going to be there." He demanded, ending the argument. Lisbon's disappointment was evident in her features.

"What about Jane?" She asked, knowing that her boss was always cautious when it came to the unpredictable consultant.

"Him too." He replied evenly. He sighed, noting her frustration. "One dinner is all I ask." Lisbon let her hands fall to her side from their crossed position.

"Yes, boss." She replied, sounding more like her usual self. Her boss nodded, glad that the conversation was over. Lisbon exited the office and headed back to her own desk. When she arrived at her desk, however, Jane was sitting in her chair, his feet resting on the table. He looked up at her with an innocent grin. She simply frowned. Before she could complain about his immaturity, a voice sounded from behind her.

"What did he want to talk to you about?" Rigsby asked, obviously voicing everyone's thoughts.

"Nothing." Lisbon quickly evaded, as Jane got out of the chair and politely offered it to his boss.

"Nothing always indicates you're hiding something." Jane added, not the least bit troubled by Lisbon's incessant frown.

"Or I think explaining is a waste of time." Lisbon countered, settling in at her desk.

"If that was true, you wouldn't look so frustrated." Jane replied quickly. He walked over to stand next to Rigsby, who was leaning against his own desk. Van Pelt was lounging in her chair, while Cho was resting his head on his desk, his eyes staring at his phone hoping for a call.

"Not to mention you have plenty of time to waste." Rigsby added, reminding them that they hadn't had a case in almost three days and counting. The team was now bored out of their minds, even Jane could not find enough mind tricks to keep himself amused. Cho was the most desperate for a case, which was surprising seeing as he normally enjoys any down time he can get so he can read his book; but, now he had finished his book and was in need of a mystery to solve. Rigbsy and Jane glanced over at Cho.

"Californians can't stay peaceful for long." Cho responded bluntly. "We'll have a bombing or a triple homicide or something." He added, almost hopefully.

"Either that's cynicism or you're actually wanting all hell to break loose." Van Pelt pointed out, with an amused frown.

"Just stating the facts. They'll screw up eventually." Cho shrugged, his eyes still trained on the phone.

"Until then, we are required to attend the bureau's annual fundraising dinner." Lisbon spilled, ending her sentence with a sigh.

"We? As in the team?" Rigsby clarified.

"Yes. A whole evening of uncomfortable shoes and fake smiles." Lisbon explained, obviously dreading the event.

"Sounds like fun!" Van Pelt exclaimed, sincerity apparent in her eyes.

"Can we bring a date?" Rigsby asked uncertainly. Jane smiled at the hesitant question.

"If you can get one." Cho added. His face was indifferent, which made his comment all the more funny. Jane's smile widened as Rigsby frowned indignantly.

"What's that supposed to mean?" He countered, but Lisbon intervened.

"Bring a date if you want. It's tomorrow night, starting at 7:00. I know it's short notice, but your expected to be there." She concluded.

"Required." Jane corrected her.