"For God's sakes, Jane, slow down," Lisbon admonished. He turned to grin at her, knowing that taking his eyes off the road would further irritate her.

"I'm not that far over the speed limit," he protested mildly, almost absentmindedly twirling the steering wheel to pass a slower vehicle.

"Why did I even let you drive?" Lisbon muttered, half to herself.

"Because Minelli didn't want you wrecking anything."

"I wouldn't. I'm fine, and it was a rhetorical question, Jane."

"Still a question. Questions are for answering," he said lightly, a hint of laughter in his voice. Somewhere behind them, a horn honked. Lisbon dropped her head into her hands.


"Cho, Rigsby, I want you to go talk to Dylan, check on Maria's alibi. Van Pelt, look up his record, see if he's got a history. Jane, we're going to visit Maria's brother," Lisbon instructed.

"Carlos," Jane supplied, reminding her of Maria's brother's name.

"Yes, him." She dug in her pocket for her keys as she led the consultant outside. He caught her shoulder as she clumsily tried to push the unlock button on the keys.

"Ah-ah-ah," he scolded, holding out his hand for the keys. She looked at the offered hand blankly.


"You aren't driving." He glanced meaningfully at her heavily bandaged hands. That morning, she'd taken down a runner. Unfortunately, during the chase, the runner (Maria) managed to cut Lisbon's hands up pretty badly. It would've been minor, save for the non-lethal poison covering the blade.

The nurse at the CBI gave her a few creams to put on, wrapped her hands up, and told her not to do anything that would be dangerous if she fainted. Particularly driving.

"No. Ohhh no," she said, shaking her head. "You aren't driving me anywhere."

"Well, then, we'll just have to wait until someone else can drive us to see Carlos. Better hope he doesn't get wind of the fact that his sister has been taken in for questioning by the CBI. If he does, he'll run like a demon from holy water," he said, eyes twinkling.

Lisbon expressed her feelings with a groan, but gave him the keys.

-End Flashback-

"Um, Jane? That was a cop," Lisbon said, feeling a combination of embarrassment (thank God they were going north- Minelli knew Lisbon didn't like the snow or cold, so he gave her few cases up there, resulting in the fact that the local police wouldn't know her), exasperation, and malicious glee.

"I know. Slowing down would make the brake lights light up- only alert him that we're speeding, and draw attention to ourselves," he reasoned. "I actually met a truck driver who fixed his brake lights to a switch, so he could turn them off and slow down without the police noticing."

" 'we're speeding'," Lisbon grumbled. "How about 'you're speeding'."

"Also, there's the off chance that he didn't notice us. Aaaand… yup. He did." Blue lights flashed behind them. Lisbon rolled her eyes as Jane haphazardly wove through a few cars to get to the shoulder, where he pulled over. After a moment, the blue lights came to a stop behind them.

"So… you're thinking about digging out your badge and getting me out of trouble?" Jane said, smiling hopefully.

"No, I'm not," she said cheerfully.

"No, you're not," he confirmed, shaking his head. "It was worth a try, though." He rolled down the window.

"Sir, do you know how fast you were going?" the police officer asked gruffly.

"Too fast," Jane said smartly.

"I clocked you at 87," the officer informed him, narrowing his eyes.

"Actually, I was going 89," Jane corrected.

"You were speeding. May I see your license and registration?" the cop snapped.

"Sure, sure. Hold on a minute," Jane reassured him. He dug through his pockets, finally producing his license. He gave it to the police officer while Lisbon rummaged through the glove compartment for the papers, careful to keep the gun inside hidden.

"It's actually my car, but we work together," Lisbon explained, passing the papers over. The officer grunted in response, scrutinizing the papers. Jane tapped his fingers on the wheel, humming patiently. The officer gave him a look that clearly told him to stoppit-right-now, but the consultant only grinned wider at him.

"Sir, can you step out of the car please?"

"Of course. I'm not drunk. And I'm not a lunatic, either. We really do work together. And bless you," Jane said with a smirk. A moment later, right on cue, the officer sneezed, surfacing from where he'd sneezed in his elbow with a scowl.

"Walk along the line. I'm sure you know the drill," he growled.

"Why? Have you forgotten?"

"Walk," the officer all but snarled through his teeth and thick mustache. Jane shrugged, and delicately walked the line with ease. Then he closed his eyes and touched his nose.

"Say the alphabet backwards," the cop demanded. Lisbon held back a snicker. As much as she would've enjoyed watching Jane get in trouble, she recognized the glint he had in his eye. It was funny when he was using his skill on someone else, and in a way that wouldn't have repercussions in the case.

"Honestly, I'm not drunk. And nobody can say the alphabet backwards, unless they've practiced. In which case they probably are drunk, or are planning to be," Jane patiently informed him.

"If you do not do the test, then I can and will take you in and keep you there, until one of your friends (no doubt as slimy as you,) comes to get you. Understand?"

This just gets better and better. I should stop this, but…I'm injured, and I really don't want to interfere and risk further injury. Right. Alibi established. On with the show! Lisbon thought from her vantage point from in the car.

"Can you say the alphabet backwards?" Jane challenged.

"Of course I can!" the officer blustered.

"Fine." The consultant quickly recited it flawlessly.

"Alright, fine. I'm going to write you up a ticket-"

"You liar," Jane laughed, patting the man on the shoulder.


"I didn't recite it properly. I switched N and M, and D and F, and didn't even say H."

The officer's face got red- he seemed to swell up with anger.

"But," Jane continued, eyes bright with mischief, "you're an officer of the law, so I'm sure you know best. A mere CBI agent like myself would never imagine questioning your authority, sir."

The officer deflated rapidly. Quick color change. That's a weird gray, Lisbon observed silently, wondering if he was going to vomit, or pass out, or do something else dramatic.

"I- I don't believe you," the officer said. Jane waved a hand to Lisbon. Recognizing what he wanted, she pulled out her badge, opened the door, stepped outside and tossed it to him. He managed to catch it after a marvelous fumble, then showed it to the cop. He paled, and passed it wordlessly back.

"Now, I-," Jane paused, taking a breath through his nose. One fair eyebrow lifted as he regarded the cop with new eyes. "I don't smell alcohol on your breath, do I?" he said abruptly, his voice stern as a third grade teacher's to a naughty child. He didn't smell anything, of course, but it would be fun to act like he did.

"N-n-no, of course not… agent," the cop added hastily, remembering that Jane was higher in status. Jane took another sniff.

"I think I do! So, you like a bit of liquor to take the edge off your job?" His tone was as sharp as a knife, and just as steely.

Lisbon leaned against the door to watch, a grin settling onto her face. She'd thought she despised his methods, his games and habit of spinning conversations around until one didn't know which way is up, but this was fun. She decided that maybe she would give him more of a chance in the future, maybe not leap instantly into fight mode.

Or, she thought, watching as the cop walked the line, and struggled to say the alphabet backwards, maybe I should watch my back.