Author's Note: So this is a sequel to Trust Issues, a very fluffy sequel to Trust Issues. You don't need to have read the first fic to understand this one, but I feel that's it only fair to warn those of you who have read the first fic that this is completely different in tone and style (which is why I decided to make it a whole separate fic instead of continuing the original one). I got sick of writing more serious things and I've been wanting to write fluff for a while. Originally I was concerned that it might not be so accurate, character-wise, but then I decided, screw it. So this is it. Me writing fluff. I hope the characters aren't too out of character.
Disclaimer: Alas, I do not own any of these characters
Overcoming Trust Issues
Patrick Jane walked out of his house with a spring in his step. It was a beautiful day and he had a plan. Okay, so it wasn't so much a plan as an idea, more of a goal really. But it was a goal he was sure that he could solve. He might have had moments of doubt before, but who could blame him? That had been on a cloudy day. Today it was crisp and clear. The sun was shining; the birds were chirping; it wasn't oppressively hot. Today was a perfect day to kick off his plan, as soon as figured out exactly what his plan was obviously.
But that was the sort of trivial detail that he could work out later. Today was the start of Operation Acquire Lisbon's Trust. So it needed a better name, not a problem. What about Operation Lisbon? Yes, he thought to himself as got into his car to drive to work, Operation Lisbon was good. Short, catchy, practical. Perfect.
But how to go about it exactly? It certainly wasn't going to be easy; the woman had more walls than a medieval castle. Not to worry, he wasn't discouraged. Not today anyways. Today he had a new approach, a rational and logical approach. He grinned, Lisbon would probably have been proud of him. So he didn't know exactly what would work in earning his reserved colleague's trust; what did he know? Well, he knew ways that certainly wouldn't work. Why not start with those?
Charm. Lisbon was extremely wary of his charm. She always suspected that he was trying to manipulate her in some way, trying to gauge her reaction or treating her like some of the suspects they interviewed, trying to get something from her. That he was somehow invading her privacy and might see something she didn't want him to. So she tried her hardest not react. She closed herself off behind her walls to let him see as little as possible. He couldn't win her trust by being charming like he had with so many others. She was special.
Extravagant or lavish gestures. Sure she'd liked the pony on her birthday and had been upset when she'd thought he'd forgotten (that fact alone gave him hope for his success), but he knew if he made some grand gesture to try and prove his trustwrothiness she'd think it was all part of his act and that he wanted something from her. No, nothing too flamboyant for the by-the-book Lisbon, nothing that would make her embarrassed, or uncomfortable, or worst of all, feel that she was somehow in his debt. On a special occasion like her birthday it was fine, but for everyday life subtlety was required.
All of a sudden, alone in his car, in the middle of the morning rush hour traffic, Jane grinned. That was it! Subtlety. He was going to have to tone down the charm and the little tricks. Not eliminate them off course, then she'd either think something was seriously wrong with him or worry that he was planning something. Besides, he certainly didn't want to suck all the fun out of this. But she had to be comfortable, relaxed, and for that to happen she had to feel like she wasn't always under scrutiny.
So he would ease up on his constant analysis of her, fascinating as it was, try to let her keep her little secrets, and if he did discover them, leave them alone, let her think they were safe. Make her feel like her personal life was secure. She valued her privacy, and he had a feeling that part of the reason she didn't trust him was that she felt she had no control over what he saw or didn't see, a belief that he himself had cultivated. He figured Lisbon relied heavily on her ability to choose who got to see what, and when. Well, he could give it to her. And then when she trusted him, maybe she'd tell him on her own.
It was going to take a while, but it would be worth it. Especially if he was going to be friends with Lisbon, real friends, something he was becoming surer and surer that he wanted. He grinned when he saw her favourite coffee place up ahead. After all, there was world of difference between being charming and just being thoughtful.
Theresa Lisbon walked into the CBI building in a good mood. It was a beautiful day, and the citizens of California seemed to have decided to enjoy the good weather and stay out of trouble. The team was between cases so there was nothing pressing on her mind, no mystery to solve, no crazy consultant's antics to worry about. Sure Jane got into mischief during their downtime, but it was usually in the office, actually it was usually related to a member of the team, so no one ever complained. Well, at least not officially.
Lisbon grinned. It was days like this that she could actually let herself enjoy Jane's company, at least a little bit. Not too much or he might get smug or take advantage, but after all, there were no lasting consequences to a few simple tricks to keep themselves amused on a slow work day.
Speak of the devil, there he was. He'd actually gotten there before her. Trust Jane to show up early on a day when they didn't actually have a case. With a sunny smile to match the weather he straightened up from his position leaning against her office doorway.
"Morning Lisbon!" He greeted her cheerfully. "Beautiful day isn't it? I stopped to get some tea on my way into work today so I grabbed you a coffee at the same time. Cream with two sugar right?"
"That's right." Actually, she was surprised he'd even asked instead of just giving her the drink and then watching her expression hen she realized it was perfect. "Thanks Jane," she said with a smile. That smile quickly turned wary, "Wait, please tell me you didn't do something insane and this coffee is some sort of bribe to get me on your good side."
Jane sighed mentally, this was going well. "So suspicious Lisbon. I'm shocked. No I have not insulted anybody, not since our last case when I told the owner of that software company his wife was having an affair with the gardener, and it was his fault for driving her away." He paused briefly when Lisbon cringed, but continued on as if nothing had happened, "I was in the coffee shop getting tea when I remembered that sometimes you got coffee from there so I decided to get you one, to be nice." He noticed she looked surprised at that, " You know as a sort of a thank-you for all the times you've bought coffee to soften up Minelli before telling him one of my plans. Is that why you thought I was trying to butter you up? Is coffee nothing more than a bribe to you now?"
Lisbon smirked in response, "Of course not. It's also a method of keeping awake during stakeouts and long nights of research."
Jane grinned, this was much better, "Not to mention an excuse for couples to spend more time together after a great date." When Lisbon blushed and looked embarrassed his grin got wider, he couldn't help it. "Don't worry Lisbon, that wasn't my intention. I can assure you this coffee is completely innocent. A gesture of friendship."
To his surprise she smiled, "Because seducing me over coffee would be sophomoric, wouldn't it now?"
Touché. Point to the petite law enforcement official with the smirk on her face. See this, this is why they should be friends. Bantering with Lisbon was fun, and they could both use a bit of fun in their lives, especially her. "Exactly. And now that I have given you your coffee, in its special ulterior-motive-free cup, I will leave you to your work." He needed to leave while he was still ahead.
"Thanks for the coffee Jane." Shaking her head when he shot her one last grin as he left her office, she sat down at her desk. Yup, today was shaping up to be a good day.
Jane was acting strangely. Well, Lisbon amended mentally, strangely for Jane at least. He was acting almost normal by anyone else's standards. First he had brought her coffee this morning, for no apparent reason. Not that Jane was incapable of doing a nice thing for someone, but it wasn't usually so obvious. Usually nice things from Jane were wrapped up in some sort of kooky scheme and you didn't realize they were nice until afterwards. Then he had graciously offered to help Van Pelt move some of her computer equipment (earning himself a glare from Rigsby in the process, Lisbon had been amused to note). And now he was helping Cho go through some of the suspect files from one of their old unsolved cases, seeing if anything jumped out. At least he was reading them on his couch and not at his desk (why he insisted on having one, no one really knew), or she would have been really concerned. Oh, and to top it off when he'd caught her watching him he'd just smiled at her and waved. But it had been a nice smile, a friendly smile. Not the one designed to make her feel like he'd caught her at something. She'd smiled back and gone back to her own report, but she couldn't stop thinking he was up to something. "Stop it Lisbon," she told herself. "Maybe he's just happy because of the weather. Can't you just enjoy the calm? I'm sure it won't last."
Shaken out of her reverie by a knock on her door, Lisbon looked up. Jane poked his head into her office, smiling as always. "Hey Lisbon, the rest of us have decided to go out for lunch since it's such a nice day. You in?"
She wanted to, she really did, but if she stayed in for lunch then there was a chance she could get her paperwork done in time to leave early. Okay, maybe not early, but on time at least. She'd been planning on going hiking, or to the park, to get ice cream… "No, not today Jane. I brought my lunch, besides I want to finish up some stuff here today. You guys go ahead. Have a good time."
"You sure?" he asked in that wheedling tone of his.
But she stood firm. She'd been looking forward to an early day and wouldn't be able to take it if she didn't stay on schedule. "Yeah, I'm sure. Someone has to hold the fort here. Maybe next time."
"Alright," he said with a shrug, but for a second he almost looked disappointed. Then, almost instantly it was gone, "See you in a bit. Have fun with your paperwork boss."
She sighed as she waved to her departing colleagues. Sometimes being the responsible one sucked.
Jane was intrigued. Lisbon was leaving early. Okay, well not so much early as on time. Early for Lisbon. It was five o'clock and she was putting her files away and shutting up her desk. Plus she'd changed into jeans. Curioser and curioser. Was this why she hadn't gone to lunch with them when she'd clearly wanted to? Did Lisbon have plans?
Well this was a test of his resolve if ever there was one. He was dying to go over there and trick her into telling him where she was going. Depending on the answer maybe try and force her into taking him along. He loved annoying her. Seeing how much it took before she lost her cool. The moment when her expression changed and she couldn't ignore him made it totally worth it. Then she'd try and make herself look taller (not an easy thing to do), and more threatening in an attempt to intimidate him. But not today, the goal was to make him trust her, and that meant not prying. He could do that. He hoped.
Inside her office Theresa Lisbon was also intrigued. She was leaving on time. She had changed her clothes. She wasn't taking work home with her. Jane must have noticed. She'd seen him watching her. But he hadn't dropped in to find out where she was going. Odd. Usually he was so curious about everyone's business that you couldn't keep him away.
She ducked into the bullpen on her way out Van Pelt and Rigsby had already left, but Cho and Jane were still at the office. "Well, I'm done for the day, see you guys later. Don't stay too late."
"Night boss," Cho said absently.
Jane looked up and smiled. "Have a nice evening Lisbon." Where was she going?
"You too." She'd answered. He'd been curious. She could see it in his eyes, but he hadn't said anything. What on earth was going on with Jane? She'd expected him to insist on going with her when he found out she was on her way to the park, or at least to try and make her tell him where she was going. Oh well. She'd decided on the park and at least now she could have a quiet walk with her ice cream. She wondered if they'd have maple walnut.
Jane sighed and tried not to scowl. This plan had better work out, because otherwise it really wasn't worth it.
"You should have asked her where she was going man." Cho told him, still seemingly engrossed in his files.
"What do you mean?" Jane asked. Feign innocence. Yes, that would work. Cho would never notice.
The Asian agent smirked. "Lisbon. You should have just asked her where she was going."
"Lisbon hates it when I pry into her life." See, I'm being nice to your boss. You should appreciate that.
"She sure thinks she does anyways," Cho muttered more to himself than to the consultant. "When has that ever stopped you? I don't know what you're planning man, and I can't say I mind, especially since you trying to get on Lisbon's good side helps me with my workload, but you still should have just asked her where she was going. Now she's probably suspicious."
"I'm not planning anything." He wasn't! Why did everyone assume that he was? He wanted to be her friend. Was that too much to ask? And why did Cho have to be so perceptive? This is what comes of being friends with CBI agents.
"Whatever. I'm heading out. You coming?"
"Yeah, in a minute. Just want to finish up a few things here. See you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow Jane." Shaking his head Cho left the office.
Jane watched the younger man leave. Lisbon hadn't really wanted him to ask her where she was going had she? If she'd wanted him to ask her then either she'd wanted him to go with her, wherever she was going (unlikely), or she enjoyed it when he tried to pry into her life, whether she knew it or not. But Lisbon didn't like it when he pried into her personal life. That he was almost certain of. But what about parts of her life that weren't so personal? Maybe she didn't mind so much if he pried into those…
He was fairly certain that she liked him, at least a little bit. And she certainly seemed to enjoy teasing him. She had a great sense of humour. They had enjoyed more than one private smile over something during a case. Did she like some of the verbal sparring and the games? Did this private woman like the attention? It was a possibility he hadn't really considered when he'd come up with his plan. Huh. It looked like Operation Lisbon needed refining, and to do that he needed to be able to think, and for that he needed ice cream.
Jane smiled as he stepped out onto the grass. Everyone knew that the park was the best place to go for ice cream on a summer's day. Plus, when he was done planning he could people watch, always an entertaining past time. He wondered if that woman over there knew that her boyfriend was going to propose. She seemed too relaxed to be expecting something like that, but you never know. Jane wished him luck. Or what about the two teenagers standing by the swing set near the dark-haired woman in jeans,.. the very familiar-looking dark-haired woman in jeans.
Oh Crap. Lisbon was here. Well this was going to throw a wrench into his plans. Cho was right, she was probably already suspicious. If we went up to her now she was going to think he was following her. He had a feeling that whether or not she enjoyed his company, she would consider following her around crossing a line. He turned around quickly. Maybe she wouldn't notice that he was here. It was a big park. There were a lot of people here. He could always go somewhere else for ice cream. Yes, that was it. He mentally patted himself on the back. Good idea Jane.
As he began to walk back the way he'd come he was stopped by a familiar voice behind him.
"Jane? What are you doing here?"
To Be Continued (obviously)