The mentalist is kind of my new obsession. And I'm all about some Patrick/Theresa. Love it. First Mentalist fic. As obsessed as I'm becoming, I doubt it will be the last one.
My spell check doesn't work. Don't hang me if you see errors. I tried to proofread.
And reviews are pretty sweet.
Lisbon, leaning over a crime report at her desk, is chewing the cap of her black fountain pen. Her head, tilted slightly to the side, makes her dark brown hair slide over her right shoulder, exposing a long, swan-like neck.
Jane, laying on his accustomed couch with both hands behind his head, is lapsing into a game he used to play to amuse himself during his younger years, before he learned his lessons. He told Rigsby once that he could seduce any woman, provided she was single and available and straight. He was ultimately proven wrong, of course; he couldn't get that widow entirely under his spell, even though she had obviously liked him, been attracted to him. But she was a woman who had been willing to torture her husband to run away with his money. She obviously wasn't a fair benchmark.
Lisbon might be, he thinks idly, watching her with a heavy-lidded gaze through his thick eyelashes. She moves in a fluid, deliberate way as she shuffles the papers on her desk, and absent-mindedly runs her fingers through her hair. She reaches up and rubs the space between her neck and left shoulder, which she strained earlier today when taking down a suspect a full foot taller than she is. She winces a little at the pain, and goes back to the papers. There is an unexpected feminine grace to her, something he has always noticed intellectually but never given much thought to. Theresa is a woman. And thus subject to the theory. Jane, crossing his arms and shifting to face her, is forced to wonder what it would take.
Lisbon notices him watching her and cocks her head, apprasing him. "What are you thinking about?"
It doesn't occur to him to lie. "I was wondering what I'd have to do to seduce you."
Lisbon's eyebrows scrunch up, threatning to meet over her flared nose, but she has no other reaction, as far as Jane can see. Even flustered she remains poised, graceful, a touch nut to crack. And Jane, accustomed to matching his wits against any number of people and winning, can't help but find this fascinating.
"Why are you thinking about that?" She is trying to sound calm and almost succeeds, but for a slight strain on the last word, which comes out a bit strangled. Absolutely fascinating.
He isn't sure why he's thinking that, and so shrugs his shoulders. "Just passing time, I guess. You don't think about things like that? Come on."
"No," she says, far too quickly. He is reminded of the time he joked with her that he would never try to seduce her over a meal. She had worn the same flustered, frantic look she is wearing right now, and just as quickly denied even thinking about it. He had responded that her denial intrigued him, and it had. It was as if any suggestion that she thought of him as anything other than entirely sexless made her edgy. Too edgy. It took alot to push her past her built-in poise, but that always worked.
He knows most of the reason why. She is a boss, while simultaneously being a very pretty, relatively young woman. A good portion of it is the same reason she wears simple, uninteresting clothes, no earrings, and almost no make-up to work all the time. She is supposed to be sexless, too. If she could make her dark hair less thick, her lips less full, her eyes less strikingly green, just for work, Jane is pretty sure she would probably do that.
But that isn't all it is. Jane feels that if he could find that thing, that impulse, that trigger that might seduce her, he might have a chance, at least, at understanding her. If he can get to that ineffable sparkle that both lights up her eyes and haunts them, the resounding rumble in her voice when it is both sharp and disapproving, and sweet and girlish. He might be able to solve the enigma. And he spends his life solving puzzles.
Jane, who has been laying on the couch in silence for several minutes now, turns again to face Lisbon. "You really never think about it?" he asks, disbelief tinged in every syllable.
She looks at him out of the corner of her eye, briefly, and focuses harder on her work. "Never," she replies flatly. He doesn't believe her for a second.
"Too bad. You could seduce me."
Lisbon seems to realize at this point that she won't get rid of him with dry, monolithic answers, and sets her paperwork aside. She turns her chair entirely so she can look at him full on. Despite herself, her arched eyebrows and half smile betray a sudden interest in the conversation. "Could I?"
He nods. This is going well. Half the battle with Lisbon is usually getting her to engage with him. It's how she has managed to remain a relative mystery to him, despite his many attempts to probe into her life. Eight times out of ten, she just won't engage. "Sure you could."
She looks up into the ceiling for a long moment, seeming to consider. She rubs her shoulder again. "How could I do that?"
He smiles lazily, shrugging. "Look at you, huh? I thought you didn't think about it."
Lisbon doesn't say anything, not wanting to give him an inch. He knows already that she considers his powers of observation extremely invasive, assumes he knows more about her than she'd care for him to. On the surface, she's right. He can tell when she's lying, he can tell when she's really irritated with him and when she's just putting it on because she knows she's supposed to be. But she gives him too much credit, and herself too little. She is far more enigmatic than she thinks.
He says, "Well, you're attractive. You're a woman. You could."
She doesn't want to look pleased, he can tell, but it seems to pour out of her, against her will. "Yeah?"
"Sure thing, Theresa."
She straightens up. "You never call me Theresa."
"Because you don't like it," he says, lying. They both know he does multitiudes of things she doesn't like.
"That's right," she says, trying to be curt. "I don't like it."
She's lying, but why would she lie? She wants to be called that? She doesn't? She enjoys thinking that she has the means and power to seduce him? Or maybe it's that she wants to be a woman sometimes, be feminine, and she hardly ever gets to. He watches her again; she's turned back to her paper work, and reaches up another time to rub the kink out of her shoulder.
He stands silently, walks the seven steps to her desk. He appears like a shadow behind her, leaning against the cinderblock wall. "You shouldn't reach up like that. You'll make your shoulder worse."
She doesn't respond, so he leans in and places one hand on each of her shoulders. She is wearing a loose-fitting shirt of white cotton. Her thick dark hair sweps over his hands. "This shoulder?" he asks, kneeding the left one.
Theresa's eyes dart around the squad room. It's after eight. They are alone. "What are you doing?"
"Being helpful. It only works if you're calm."
She keeps looking around, skittish, as ever concerned for her image. He reads her thoughts, and reassures her. "Cho went to visit his mother. Rigsby got up the nerve to ask Van Pelt to dinner, platonically of course, to see if there is something in her life she can confide in him."
Jane leans his face closer to her, breathes the words into the back of her neck. "Love and affection."
He keeps rubbing her shoulders, briefly rests his head against her hair. She figits a little, and he chuckles, a slow rumble from the back of his throat. "You have to relax."
He breathes evenly, slowly, doesn't stop kneeding. Her skin is warm, softer than he expects it to be, and her hair smells like rasberry. She unconciously releases a breath she was unaware of holding, seeming to give up. Jane leans around her to see her face, gives her a reassuring smile.
"That's the calm I was talking about," he breathes into her ear.
Theresa closes her eyes for a second, an action he suspects is beyond her own control. She lets out slow, shallow breaths, for once doesn't try to inch away from him. She even leans back a little, resting against him, giving him better access to her stressed shoulders. He can't help but feel a leap of triumpth inside himself. She's finally set her crime reports aside, and seems to be, what is it? Consumed. Entirely consumed. In him.
"I have to go home," he says softly against her cheek. "Do you need anything?"
"Like what?" she whispers. Her delicate green eyes are saucer wide, she's staring at him. She's beautiful.
"Like anything," he whispers back, meeting the stare.
She swallows hard. Jane can hear it, chuckles on the inside. "I'm fine," she says.
Jane nods, stops massaging, but lets his hands rest on her shoulders. He leans over her, whispers "okay", and lingers his lips against her cheek, through her hair, a half-second longer than courtesy would dictate. It's warm, gentle. Everything seems to be going in slow motion. That was something else he told Rigsby later, about seduction. Slow things down. Get things quiet.
Theresa turns away, attempting to break the spell. She looks for her reports, face a soft shade of pink, and can't seem to remember where she put them.
Jane grabs his briefcase, and walks toward the door. "Goodnight, Theresa." He is wearing an ironic, smart-ass smile.
Lisbon, trying to regain herself, says nothing, and does not watch him leave.