Author's note: Set after Russet Potatoes, but based on events from Bloodshot, specifically the scene where Lisbon flat out tells Jane she doesn't trust him. I love that scene, mainly because she's so matter of fact and Jane seemed so shocked. Also, I think I should make it my goal to write a fic from the 3rd person POV.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm just borrowing.

Trust Issues

She didn't trust him.

He hadn't really had much of a chance to think about it at the time, well beyond the initial disbelief that is. Oh, and insisting on a trust fall (not because he thought it would help, he knew it wouldn't, but because he wanted to see if she would do it). At the time they'd been in the middle of a case, and then another one had fallen hard on its heels. But now things had calmed down a bit; it'd been a week since he'd almost been pushed off of a building by a colleague. His brain had finally finished analyzing his latest near-death experience and poor Rigsby's reactions hwile under hypnosis, and had been looking for something else to latch onto and pick apart. As often happened in these situations his brain had reverted to the enigmatic Agent Lisbon.

Which brought him slamming back to the simple fact that she didn't trust him.

Sure she'd done the stupid trust fall, but he knew that was more just to humour him and shut him up than anything else. And it wasn't just that she had said that she didn't trust him, it was how she'd said it. Like she was stating an obvious fact, like there was no room for debate here. You don't trust me, and I certainly don't trust you. You're untrustworthy. Not she didn't know enough about him to make up her mind, no excuses about how she didn't trust easily. Just calmly and bluntly, 'You're untrustworthy.' She didn't even have to think about it. She'd clearly already made up her mind on the subject.

But why did it bother him so much?

Why did it matter if Lisbon trusted him or not? She recognized that his abilities were valuable and usually allowed him enough free rein to get the job done. The lack of personal trust didn't seem to affect whether or not he was able to convince her that his theories were valid. She was far too fair for that; she almost always at least gave him a chance to explain. She even seemed to like him well enough. She certainly didn't seem to actively avoid him in the office or anything. The fact that she didn't trust him certainly wasn't hurting their working relationship.

But he still wanted her to trust him.

Was he so opportunistic that subconsciously he thought he might need to take advantage of that trust later on? God he hoped not. He really did. He acknowledged that if Red John got between them he'd probably abuse her trust, but he hoped that wouldn't happen. He really did. He hoped that he wouldn't have to put her in the middle and he hoped that she didn't get hurt. And barring Red John he didn't think he'd take advantage of her that seriously. Sure he irritated her on practically an hourly basis, he pushed her to the limit and he occasionally ignored her authority, but he'd never intentionally hurt her, or cause her pain. She knew that right? She had to know that. He wasn't cruel, he would admit to occasionally thoughtless, but not intentionally cruel, at least not to good people. And there was no doubt in his mind that Lisbon was good people. He didn't think he wanted her to trust him so he could take advantage later on. Whenever they disagreed on something he just found another way around her.

Maybe it was professional pride. After all, for years he'd made a living getting people to trust him, to believe that whatever he said, no matter how preposterous, was the truth. He read them and pushed just the right buttons so that they took whatever came out of his mouth as gospel. And now, with all his skill, this woman decided that she just wasn't buying it. And he didn't know how to change her mind. He could convince almost anyone else, but he couldn't convince her, the one person he probably spent the most time with, who knew him better than almost anyone on the planet. He had to admit that stung a bit, deflated his ego ever so slightly, but Lisbon didn't trust easily. She kept things close. Even if he didn't have her all figured out he still read her better than most people. He could recognize and identify the meaning between six different raised eyebrows for heaven's sakes. So he didn't completely understand her yet, nothing to be ashamed of, he wasn't infallible.

Still, he'd thought she'd trusted him.

He'd taken it for granted really. Didn't see why she wouldn't. Sure she didn't trust his driving, or his little games, but he thought that was just her need for control. He hadn't thought it was part of a deeper issue, a bigger problem. She was clearly capable of trust. She trusted Cho's abilities in interrogation, she trusted Rigsby to back her up in the field and she was even extending the trust to Van Pelt, the rookie. But not to him. She trusted the rest of her team, but not him. And it hurt.

Because he trusted her.

She was trustworthy, completely and utterly. Any fool could see that. She was discreet, she was competent, and she was sympathetic when sympathy was called for. She kept his secrets if he asked her to. She would defend her people from the higher-ups, and she'd never send one of them into danger without the proper protection. He knew that if she was in the field with him that she'd protect him from harm to the best of her abilities. She'd rushed in gun blazing and saved his life twice now. When he'd set the trap for the criminal hypnotist he'd brought her with him, despite the fact that he'd been with Cho and Van Pelt, because he knew that she wouldn't let anyone hurt him if she could help it.

And it hurt that not only did she not trust him, she'd pushed his offered trust aside.

Actually, she'd more than pushed it aside. She'd dismissed it. Said that he didn't trust her. Like that was the obvious conclusion. Why would she say that? Why would she think he didn't trust her? She'd said it herself, she stuck her neck out for him time after time. She'd saved his life. She listened to his theories (most of the time). Of course he trusted her. She was one of the few people he did trust. Did she think that he was so damaged, so insincere that he was incapable of truly trusting anyone?

So he'd covered the hurt with a joke. Made her do the trust fall. Watched her roll her eyes at his shenanigans, changed the tone of her voice from one that was coolly stating facts to one that was much more sarcastic. Made the whole thing seem like more of a game. But now, alone at the CBI on his couch, he wasn't focusing on the game, but the reality. She didn't trust him. And it still bothered him.

And not because of professional pride or because it would be useful down the road, or because it affected their working relationship, but for the reason he'd been trying to ignore for the last few weeks, because it terrified him. He'd thought that their relationship was more than just a working relationship; he'd thought maybe they were becoming friends. And not just work friends who played racket ball together Tuesday's at lunch (not that either of them played racket ball). Like the type of friends that went out for dinner after a long case. The type of friends that talked to each other, and not just small talk, talked about what was wrong, why they were having a bad day. He'd thought she'd been becoming a bit more comfortable around him lately, tweaking his nose or kicking his couch when she was mad, letting him 'read her mind', leading him around and letting him touch her face when he was blinded. Joking with him about superheroes. She certainly wouldn't have done that when he'd first joined the CBI. But it turned out she didn't agree. Professionally she valued his opinion, but personally she didn't trust him. And she couldn't see why it bothered him.

So the question now was, what did he do about it? How did he get her to realize that he was trustworthy? He'd meant it when he'd said that he thought that her lack of trust was a problem.

But the biggest problem of all was that he had no idea what to do about it.

xxxxxxx

And that's the end for now, because I'm not sure if I want to continue this or not.