A quick (late) Valentine's fic. My first Mentalist fic, but this is my new favorite show. I'm in love with it. Hope everybody enjoys it.

Anatui


Valentine

I hate Valentine's Day. It's stupid. It's like a bunch of people just got together and decided, Hey, let's make all the lonely people in the world miserable and even lonelier by creating a day when all the couples can show off their love. I hate it. Besides, just the idea that you need to have one single day in the year to show your sweetheart how much you care seems silly. Can't you do that every single day without having to be reminded?

I glare down at my keyboard in some measly attempt to finish this report. I really don't want to write it, and technically I don't have to. I'd much rather spend my time glowering and mentally ranting about this stupid holiday, but I know I need to distract myself. Because even the day after it's over, I'm still upset by it. Everyone still has their flowers and chocolates covering their desks. Red and pink still outline the entire office. And I hate it.

A knock sounds on the door, and I look up as Jane enters, his typical smile playing about his face. He reminds me of a child. He's always so happy and excited about everything. But I know that, underneath that childlike exterior, there's a very serious, very pained grown man. Sometimes that grown man seeps through the cracks to show himself, and sometimes the childlike persona is really how he's feeling at the time. I've always had trouble being able to tell which is which.

"Lisbon, come on!" he says excitedly. He seems to be in a good mood today. Part of me finds that strangely ironic, though, because we both know that he was probably lonelier than I was yesterday. "Everyone is getting together in the lobby to play a game! Why are you working so hard on a Sunday? You should be enjoying yourself!"

"There's work to be done, Jane," I insist, narrowing my eyes in determination and returning my gaze to my computer. "I need to finish this report by the end of the day." Technically a lie, but it would be better if I finished it ahead of schedule. I know he's going to catch my little falsehood—he always does—but I don't want to admit to him how much I hate the world at this moment in time.

His grin falters slightly but returns full force. "No, you don't," he replies challengingly. "That report isn't due until Wednesday."

I glower at this—not that I didn't expect it—and say, "All the more reason to get it done early." Only part of me really believes that.

I don't have to be watching him to know that he raises an eyebrow at me. "But you always wait till the last minute. You relish procrastination."

Mentally exhausted, frustrated, angry, I look up at him again and just glare. I am not in the mood for this, and he knows it. "What are you doing here, Jane? Shouldn't you all be enjoying your days off? There's no case today, and there isn't much to do," I snap, poorly trying to change the subject.

"Well, we just got back from a case last night, so we all agreed—"

"Behind my back!" I interject angrily.

"—that we should have a little Valentine party today instead," he smirks.

The computer waits patiently for me as I try to think of the next word I want to type, but nothing is coming to me. "Well, you guys have fun with that," I say, desperately wanting him to leave me alone. When I finish this damn report, I can shut everything down and just go home to rest and relax.

"You don't want to join us?" he asks, and his voice is a little sad. I look up again to see the pout growing on his face. Just like a child.

"I should finish this," I say again, but my heart isn't in it anymore.

My resolve is waning, and he knows it. Just to prove his point, he walks up to the desk and leans over it toward me, studying my face. His smile slowly returns as he begins to speak. "Oh, come on, Lisbon, give in to temptation," he says, and his tone is very convincing. "You know you want to."

But it doesn't feel as if he's talking about some stupid party anymore. His words escape me somehow. All I see is his lips moving, but the sounds that flow from his lips don't make sense. And as I examine those perfect lips and all his other perfect features, I can no longer concentrate at all. The only thing I can think about is how much I really do want to give in to temptation—and how much I want to kiss him right now. At least once. Maybe just once would be enough.

Finally, his voice comes through the fog. "Lisbon? Lisbon, wake up," he's saying, and he's got that devious little grin of his on. As if he knows something I don't. Which he probably does.

"What?" I snap, leaning back in my chair to get away from him.

He hesitates a moment, and then, ever the blunt one, he says, "You're sexually attracted to me." His grin widens as he speaks.

Immediately I can feel the blood rising to my cheeks. "No, I'm not," I insist, unable to look at him. I try to return to my computer, but my hands don't move, no matter how much I desperately want them to.

"Yes, you are. You're blushing."

I no longer have anything to say in response. How can I deny such a true statement?

This, of course, only convinces him more. "Oh, come on, Lisbon, you can say it. We both know you are, so you don't have to be afraid to admit it."

At that challenge, I push forward to look at him, glaring all the while, and snarl, "I'm not afraid of anything. Go away. I have to get back to work." And with that, I return to my keyboard and ignore the fact that he's still there.

Let's see, this case was rather straightforward. Not too many details. Jane, of course, solved it very quickly and, as always, refused to reveal his ideas until it was "fun for him." But that's just typical Jane for you. He always has to make things fun—and when he does, it's usually not fun for me in the least, especially because I have to explain it to everyone.

I can feel his eyes on me for a while as I type, but eventually he turns away. He doesn't leave; instead, he sits down in the chair across from my desk and just sits there, allowing his eyes to wander around the room. I half consider getting up and walking out, but I'm too stubborn for that. This is my office; he should be the one to leave.

I sigh. After a few minutes of this silent battle, I finally stop typing and look back at him. He has picked up my stapler and started playing with it, but as soon as I look at him, he looks up at me, his grin immediately returning. "Hi," he says amiably, and I glare in return.

"What are you still doing here?" I snap, scowling.

"Waiting."

"I told you to leave," I remind him.

"No," he says very warmly, as if this is the most normal conversation in the world—in his case, it might me. "I'm not leaving until you stop being so stubborn and admit that you're attracted to me. I won't take no for an answer."

My eyes narrow at the words. "It's not going to happen, Jane," I say, my voice dangerous. "You need to leave now."

His grin doesn't leave his face as he begins his psychic magic, but his voice changes. He talks as if he knows everything about me, as if he's merely informing me of something I didn't know about before. "You don't want to admit it because you think that I will reject you, that I'm merely playing with your emotions right now, and that I carry no feelings for you at all. You think that admitting that you are attracted to me and, worse than that, have feelings for me would be a sign of weakness—not to mention how very improper it would be, considering we work together. And you're worried that I would have qualms with any sort of relationship because I have yet to get over the loss of my family. These are all very logical reasons, Lisbon, but I have to disagree with you."

"What? How?" I ask, confused.

He smiles again and replies, "With all due respect, those are the reasons you tell yourself to make yourself feel better. The real reason is that you're more scared of an actual relationship than I am. You work long hours so that, when you talk to your family, you have an excuse for why you haven't had a date in the past couple years. And you despise Valentine's Day because it reminds you that you don't have anyone special to share that time with."

For a moment, all I can say is, "Oh." I thought he was going to say something else. I wanted him to say something else. But I guess not. Maybe it's better this way, though. I doubt that any sort of relationship between us would work anyway. He's too annoying.

"You're disappointed," he points out.

I glare. "Will you stop that?!" I say, frustrated, and he just chuckles in response.

"You wanted me to tell you that I have feelings for you, too," he says, "and that everything will be all right. You've secretly wanted someone to tell you that everything will be all right for years, but you won't admit it. You like people to think that you're a strong, independent woman and don't need anyone's help."

I don't know what to say anymore. I know talking like this is just what he does, but his perceptiveness is eerie and, frankly, rather annoying.

Slowly, he stands up and walks around the desk to me, looking strangely stern. "Here's the thing, Lisbon," he says as he kneels down beside my chair, deftly taking my hand, which I allow without qualms: "I do care about you very much, and when you've worked out everything in your head and you're ready, I'll be ready for you, too." And then his grin bursts across his face. "How's Friday night?"

I hesitate for a moment, not sure how to respond. "Um, okay, I guess."

"Excellent," and he kisses my hand before getting up and leaving. "I suppose I can let you off the hook for the party after all—this time," he says, hesitating at the door before walking away.

I'm still not sure how to respond to any of this.