Jane stared down into the murky amber color of the drink in front of him. He hadn't taken a sip- nobody seemed to notice that he never drank. It amazed him that people enjoyed poisoning their bodies and minds, making themselves lose control over their actions. Even more amazing was that he'd joined in the merrymaking his fair share of times. Ever since the accident, though-
He steered his thoughts away from where they were going, a practice he'd been doing for years. In the bottom of his still-full glass, he saw a plan start to form, and couldn't help but grin.
This one would be a whopper.
Inconspicuously, he switched glasses with the man beside him, replacing the man's empty glass with his full one. He proceeded to order another drink, then repeat the switch with a different person, until the bartender was looking him with faint awe, evidently impressed with his 'drinking'.
The act continued, until Jane moved on to phase two. Standing up and wobbling like the drunk he was pretending to be, he held up his glass (this time, he'd gotten a weak, watered down drink- just enough to give him that alcoholic, pungent smell, but not enough to affect his thinking) in a toast.
"Happy Fri- uh, Saturday! May't neh-er end!" he cried, slurring his words and drinking his beverage in one gulp. The rest of the bar roared with approval, raising their own glasses and followed his lead.
He continued in this manner for about an hour, really working to make sure all the other people were sure he was well and truly drunk, bringing them into his plan. More toasts were shouted, songs were sung, drinks were shared, merry was made. Finally, he squinted at the screen of his phone, and raised his pale eyebrows.
"Wha' time ish ih, Pat?" asked one of his fellow drinkers, sucking down another beer.
"Late. Damn, I gotta call for a ride," he mumbled, using the speed dial and smirking at the screen as the name popped up.
I hope she isn't asleep, he thought. Wait. Yes, I do.
Lisbon blinked furiously, trying to focus her eyes. Something had woken her up. A loud noise of some sort slingshot her from soft dreamland to sharp reality.
Oh, right. Phone. Her still slightly cloudy eyes rested for an instant on her alarm clock. One in the morning?!? Who the heck was calling her at such an ungodly hour? She fumbled to grab her phone, and, pushing herself into a technically upright position, she hit the talk button.
"Lisb'n," she muttered, her customary answer.
"Lisbon!" the voice on the other end of the phone shouted in her ear. She yanked her head away from the loud noise, moaning. Of course. There was one person who would have the audacity to call her at one in the morning.
"Jane, what do you want?" she groaned. She suddenly realized there was a lot of background sound. Raised voices, bad singing, rambunctious laughing… "Where are you?"
"I'm'n th'land of th'fun!" he bellowed over the noise. "Did'ja know that toilet bowl cleaner an' tinfoil in'a bottle make the bottle EXPLODE?" The last word was shouted. She vividly imagined him waving his arms enthusiastically to enunciate his point.
"Are you at a bar?" she asked disbelievingly.
"YES! YES! POINT FOR LISBON!" he cried. "Hey, everyone! Lisbon got it right! To smarty-pants Lisbon!" A chorus of cheers for Lisbon echoed him, along with the sound of glasses clinking together.
"You're drunk!" she exclaimed, shocked.
"YES! ANOTHER POINT! You're a GENIUS!"
"Why are you calling me?" she grumbled.
"Honey, why you calling me here so late," Jane sang. Lisbon silently, grudgingly acknowledged that he could sing pretty well, even drunk. A chorus of not-as-good singers latched onto the lyric and continued to sing the song in the background, much to Jane's amusement.
"I'm hanging up now," she announced irritably.
"No, no, wait!"
"Baby, don't go!" someone teased on Jane's end of the phone. He laughed.
"Go away, Harry, I'm'n the phone," Jane admonished. More laughing followed.
"What do you want?" Lisbon moaned. "This is way too late for this, and we both have to go into work tomorrow."
"Alright, alright, fine! Party pooper."
"Mkay! I need you to come drive me home," he told her. She sighed with frustration and ran a hand through her hair.
"No," she said firmly, even though she was getting up and grabbing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to change into.
"YAY! Hey, guys! Lisbon's coming!" Loud cheering blasted from the phone again.
"Where are you?"
"Um… hold on." The phone crackled, and Lisbon pulled her hair up into a messy ponytail, examined it critically, then decided there wasn't much else she could do.
"I'm still here. What's the address?" He listed it off fairly well for one who was drunk.
"Alright, I'll be there in a few," she replied, hanging up on his cheerful good-byes.
Ten minutes later, she was grimacing at the sight of the bar. Sure enough, there was his car, conspicuous among the sleek red, black, and silver ones surrounding it. She quickly parked and walked in, wrinkling her nose at the stench of alcohol and sweat.
"Hey!" a man shouted angrily as she shoved her way past. He turned to glare at her, but as his eyes landed on her, his expression changed. "Hey, lady, I'm sorry. Can I buy you a drink?"
"No thanks. Have you seen-"
"Alright, then you can come sit with me, then," he leered, grabbing her elbow and yanking her toward him. She responded with a knee to the fork of his legs before leaving the 'scene of the crime' quickly, not wanting to start a bar fight.
"LISBON!" a familiar (if slightly slurred) voice cried. She saw Jane stride quickly up to her, stumbling slightly from his inebriated state.
"Jane, c'mon, we're leaving," she commanded, grabbing his hand.
"You'll want to take care of that one. I'm surprised he's still on his feet," the bartender warned her, smirking.
"How much has he had?" she asked.
"Too much. Have fun." The bartender turned to refill a drink, too busy to talk with her much. Lisbon shook her head and led the drunk blond outside. He staggered along beside her, ginning dazedly at everything.
"Why do we call each other by our last names?" he asked as they pushed out the doors into the clear night air.
"Um… because we work together, and it's more formal, and nobody at work calls anyone else by their first name?" she replied warily.
"Yeah, but even when we aren't working, it's always 'Lisbon' and 'Jane'."
"I'm not going to start calling you 'Pat', if that's what you're working toward."
"I might start calling you Teresa," he mused.
"Why don't you like my driving?"
"You drive too fast." He opened his mouth to say something, but she beat him to it. "You're also drunk. If you wanted to drive, then you shouldn't have called me."
"Why do you get so irritated with everything I do?"
"How do you mean?"
"I do one little thing that would be incom- inconc-…" he trailed off, brow wrinkled as he tried to pronounce it.
"Yes, that, and you
get upset. I simply introduce myself to someone, and it makes you
mad. Why-," he started, but broke off as he tripped over his own
shoe and his drunkenness and stumbled into her. He kept himself from
falling by grabbing her.
"You okay?" she asked, trying not to laugh.
"Yes, fine." His hand suddenly trailed down her shoulder, and he stared at her as if entranced. "You're so beautiful. Have I ever told you that?"
"Uh… no. Thanks," she muttered uncertainly.
"Well, you're beautiful." His hand moved back up her arm, running up her neck and brushing against her jawbone. The feeling was hypnotizing… she leaned into his hand for a moment before remembering the name that went with the gorgeous face. Patrick Jane. Ex-psychic, consultant, fellow CBI worker, undatable, unlovable, unreachable. She pulled away suddenly.
"You're drunk," she reminded him. He grinned.
A thought occurred to her. "How much have you had?" He hesitated, trying to count before giving up and shrugging.
"I'm not sure. A lot." Enough to keep him from remembering this in the morning? Lisbon wondered silently. "You're changing the subject."
"Yes, you are. You know what else?"
"I wouldn't dare guess." They arrived at the car, and she slipped into the driver seat before he climbed into the passenger side.
"You have a crush on me," he whispered, eyes big and mischievous.
"No I don't," she said defensively.
"You do! You have a school-girl, wide-eyed, quiet, mousey crush on me," he teased.
"So? A crush isn't something you can control," she retorted, realizing she was going to lose the yes-you-do no-I-don't argument.
"It's still a crush."
"Ja-ane," she groaned, turning the ignition. The consultant cut off the rest of her complaint, silencing her lips with his.
First, she felt shock. Why was he kissing her?
Shock was quickly followed by denial. He certainly didn't feel the same way about her. He was still mourning his wife.
Next was anxiety. They worked together! If anyone found out, they would be put on separate teams, or Minelli would use it as an excuse to fire Jane.
But then… then… she didn't care. He was a good kisser, even though he tasted like liquor. He'd found her weakness- she was a sucker for a good kiss, something that nobody would've guessed about her. She went limp in his arms and kissed him back, relaxing every fiber of her body.
He'd started it, so he ended it, too. A crooked, triumphant grin was set on his face.
"You know what else else?" he said, eyes glittering.
"What?" she replied, fighting back the laughing, buoyant feeling inside her. He was drunk. She was his boss. Simple as that.
"I have a crush on you back," he told her mischievously.
"Just a crush," she said sorrowfully. "It'll fade. Nothing will come of it."
"I kissed you, though. Won't that come from with… something?" he said. She couldn't help but laugh.
"You're making no sense."
"You know what I mean."
She sighed. "No, it probably won't. I bet you won't remember anything tomorrow. You'll probably be sick all night."
"Mhmm." He began drawing on the light moisture on the window from the rush of the heaters as Lisbon drove to his house, humming to himself. She caught a few words, something about an angel, and weeping, and voices.
"What are you singing?" she asked, uncomfortable with the silence, and unusual occurrence in the consultant's presence.
"Hmm? Oh. Um… 'Broken-,' no, uh… oh! 'Lips of an Angel'," he told her, brow furrowed as he dredged the name from his intoxicated mind.
The minutes passed, more silence. Lisbon focused on the road as it started to rain.
"Look!" Jane suddenly exclaimed like a four-year-old.
"Look, I drew you a picture." Where he'd been drawing on the window was a faint drawing.
"What is it?" she asked, giving it a skeptical look.
"A platypus, of course!" he laughed. She appraised him with bemused eyes.
"Alright. Well, we're here," she told him, pulling into his driveway, once again struck by the beauty of his home. No, not home. House. It hadn't been a home for five years, since the murder.
They dashed to the door, pausing for a moment for Jane to try to unlock it. It took him three tries to get the key in, what with his drunken state. By the time they got inside, both of them were thoroughly soaked.
"You okay for me to go home?" she asked, standing in his doorway awkwardly. He nodded.
"I'll be at work tomorrow," he reassured her, trying to get his shoes off and almost falling flat on his face.
"On time," she asserted. He rolled his eyes.
He made an impatient sound. "I'm not on time when I'm sober, let alone like this."
"Right. Well… see you tomorrow," she said, reaching for the door. A stifled laugh met her ears, and she turned around with a questioning glance. He snickered again, and pointed (his finger actually pointing to the wall behind and to the side of her) drunkenly at her.
"Your shirt," he laughed, grinning.
"Wha-," she looked down, and hissed in a breath in embarrassment. She'd worn a white shirt- the rain had made it see-through. Her light blue bra was clearly evident. She quickly folded her arms across her chest.
"What, no lace?" Jane teased, still giggling. Lisbon floundered for a retort, but gave up, instead yanking the door open and leaving in a huff. I hope he vomits on his shoes, she thought furiously.