I Promise by AndromedaMarine

Chapter One

I promise to watch out for you.

Frankly, Wayne Rigsby resented Patrick Jane's bluntness when it came to Grace Van Pelt. Or Teresa Lisbon and Kimball Cho, for that matter. Rigsby loved his team at the CBI, and told himself every morning to watch all their backs whenever they left the building on a case. But mostly he told himself over and over to keep his eye on Grace – err, Van Pelt. After six months on Lisbon's team, Wayne pulled Grace aside. A harrowing case had just been closed – a case that Wayne noticed affected Grace more strongly than it should have.

The relative darkness of the office floor injected a bit of nervousness into Rigsby, but he took a deep breath and grasped Grace's elbow before she left the room.

"Rigsby?" she said, glancing from his hand on her elbow to his eyes.

Wayne checked over Van Pelt's shoulder to make sure Lisbon and Jane were already gone from the building. "Hi," he started weakly, momentarily forgetting to release her arm. "I...um...Gra – Van Pelt, I just wanted to tell you that..." He hated being nervous, especially around Grace.

She smiled, trying not to look slightly amused. The corners of her eyes crinkled.

Though encouraged and just given more confidence by Grace's smile, Wayne was still a little unsure of himself as he placed his open palm on her shoulder. "That I promise to watch out for you." He let his hand fall away from her.

"Rigsby... That's very nice of you, but I'm fine. Really."

"G – Van Pelt, I can tell this case was different for you..."

Grace groaned. "Please don't turn into Jane – he's one mentalist too many for the CBI, let alone our team." Her voice softened, and she managed to smile again at Wayne. "And it's after hours. You can call me Grace."

"Grace." He touched her arm lightly, then flashed a shy smile and left the building.

I promise to watch out for you.