A/N: Thank you to all the lovely reviews. Your words make me happy :) This might be the last installment in this series. I kind of like how I wrapped things up. More Jello fluff. Actually, this whole chapter is pure fluff. I hope it's not too syrupy. In any case, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I still don't own the Mentalist. I know, shocking!
"I told you."
"Fine, you were right."
"When are you going to learn that I'll always be right?"
"Oh get over yourself, Jane."
She put a hand to his face and pushed him. Dramatically, he fell over, sprawled on his back.
"Hey, police brutality!"
"Drama queen," she muttered, rolling her eyes.
Even though he was being a complete pain in the ass as usual, Lisbon offered her hand out. As he was standing up, she slipped and the pair toppled over each other. Lisbon was trying to untangle herself from him when Cho walked into her office. He looked at Lisbon, then at Jane, his face fixed in a blank expression.
"Here's the file you wanted, boss," he said, visibly trying to keep it together.
"Thanks," she replied, blushing furiously.
Cho handed her the folder and left the office before a smile emerged across his lips.
"That went well," Jane quipped, still on the floor.
Lisbon glared at him.
"It's not like we were doing anything."
"That doesn't matter," she huffed. "It's what it looked like."
"Are you embarrassed by me?" he asked, finally standing up.
"What? No. Sometimes," she admitted. "Fine, always."
He was staring at her again, the one where she couldn't look away from. Clearing her throat, she tried to focus on anything but those blue eyes.
"We need to talk," she said.
Sitting down at the edge of her desk, he looked at her expectantly.
"I had a feeling you'd say that."
"Of course you did."
Smiling, Jane pulled her towards him, his arms resting freely around her slender waist. Lisbon wanted to keep distance between them so that she could remain objective but being so close to him felt too good.
"What exactly are we doing?" she asked finally.
"You tell me?"
They had been on a few dinners, a couple of movie nights at her place, but nothing that constituted more than just two friends enjoying one another's company. Jane had never stayed over, always being the gentleman. They haven't even shared a real kiss yet. But this arrangement they've had for the past two months couldn't last forever. Lisbon searched his eyes, desperately wanting to know how long they were going to continue this dance.
"I don't know. I honestly don't know, but we can't keep doing this. I can't keep doing this."
Releasing his grasp around her, Jane silently slipped his wedding ring from his hand.
"Jane, that's not what I meant. You don't have to…" she stopped, unsure how to continue.
He stared at the golden band for a moment before closing his fingers around it.
"I've been holding on to the guilt and pain of losing my family for so long," he said softly. "I honestly thought I would never be able to live, much less fall in love again."
Reaching out, he brushed the back of his hand against her cheek. She was utterly speechless. She was amazed by him, amazed how someone so broken, so hurt, by a terrible tragedy as he was, could learn to open his heart again. But the moment was shattered when her phone rang. They sprung apart similar to like poles of a magnet.
"Hello?" she answered, sounding slightly breathless.
"Terracotta, Whitney is having the baby."
She had never driven so fast in all of her life. For the entire ride, she thought for sure a traffic cop would pull her over. She wouldn't have even batted an eyelash to use her CBI badge and lie her way out of a ticket. She was definitely a very different Teresa Lisbon. When they arrived at the hospital, she ran through the maternity ward, Jane by her side. She spotted her brother Charlie nervously pacing back and forth.
"Hey, we got here as soon as we could," she said. "Why aren't you in there with her?"
"They took Whit upstairs," Charlie responded. "The baby flipped, so they're doing an emergency C-section."
"Are they alright?"
He simply shrugged his shoulders despondently in response. Lisbon hated how frightened her brother looked as she led him to an empty plastic chair to sit down.
"Do you want some coffee?" she asked.
"Yeah, coffee would be good."
Patting her brother's hand, Lisbon was about to get up when Jane stopped her.
"I'll get it," he offered.
Lisbon smiled gratefully. She watched as he disappeared around the corner before returning her attention to her brother. Growing up, it had only been her, Kyle and Charlie. She was the eldest, at sixteen, when her father decided that life wasn't worth living. He slipped into an alcohol induced coma and just never woke up. From that moment on, she did everything in her power to help keep them happy and alive. Kyle was always more independent, when he finished high school he moved to Boston and got an Engineering degree from MIT. It had been one of the proudest moments of her life. She knew Kyle wanted so desperately to be here with them but he was in the middle of a six month African safari with friends. He sent an email a couple of days ago, promising to be back in time for his baby niece's christening. Charlie, on the other hand, needed more guidance. He was constantly getting himself into trouble. Lisbon couldn't even keep track of the number of times she had to pick him up from detention. But she couldn't blame him, she figured it was because he had the least amount of time with their mother. Now, he had a steady job as a computer game designer, was a loving husband and soon was going to be a first time dad. Charlie had really turned his life around, becoming the man she always knew he could be. Lisbon could sense he had some doubts on being a good father. In her heart, she was confident Charlie would be a wonderful father to his baby girl, even though their own had failed them. Subconsciously, she laid her head against his shoulder and held his arm tightly.
"They're going to be fine," she reassured him. "And so will you. I promise."
He turned and pressed a kiss into her hair.
They had been waiting for a couple of hours and there was still no word from the nurse that had come to check up on them sometime ago. Lisbon had been stuck to her brother's side the entire time, the pair nearly drinking enough coffee to last them an entire week. But the effect of the caffeine hadn't kicked in nearly as strongly as Lisbon would have liked. Charlie had wandered off to the men's room in the meantime while she waited, restlessly. Jane, sensing her anxiety, took one of her hands in his and placed a gentle kiss across her knuckles. The loving gesture seamlessly melted her worries away.
"You know, you can go back to the office if you want."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"Cho is going to steal your Sudoku."
"I can live with that," he laughed.
"Okay," she paused. "After we welcome my perfectly healthy baby niece into the world, I'd like to continue that talk we were having earlier."
"I'd like that too."
His eyes were sparkling and if it wasn't for the fact they were in the middle of a hospital, Lisbon would have kissed him right there and then. The thought scared her for some reason, but she pushed it aside when she spotted the nurse approaching them with her brother.
"Well?" she asked impatiently.
Charlie traded looks with the nurse before his face broke into a smile. Lisbon squealed, launching herself into her brother's arms. She felt her eyes moisten as Charlie swung her around in a circle.
"I'm a dad," he exclaimed. "I'm a dad!"
They were both crying when Charlie released Lisbon and gave Jane a surprise hug.
"Congratulations," Jane said, with a smile.
"Thank you. It's a boy."
"A boy?" questioned Lisbon.
Charlie could only keep it together for a few second before breaking down into laughter.
"I so had the two of you going."
Hitting him playfully on the shoulder, Lisbon grinned.
"Alright Mr. Jokester, can we see her?"
The nurse handed them hospital scrubs before they were led to Whitney's room. The glowing mom had her baby daughter in her arms, wrapped in a pink blanket.
"Say hi, Abby," she cooed as the little girl opened her eyes.
Bright green stared up at Lisbon as she reached her pinkie out. Baby Abby latched on immediately, not wanting to let go. She smiled as she turned to Jane, who was smiling just as wide as she was with his hands resting on her shoulders.
"Oh," Lisbon gasped.
"She's gorgeous," Jane complimented.
"She is, isn't she? Hi, Abby, it's your Auntie Teresa and Uncle Patrick," she said without hesitation.
Whitney grinned up at her sister-in-law and the man she was obviously in love with. Abby gurgled and then snuggled into her mother. Reluctantly, Lisbon removed her hand from the baby's grasp.
"How are you doing?"
"Oh I'm fine," Whitney replied exhaustedly. "Thank you both for being here."
"I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else."
"Actually, there's something Whitney and I wanted to ask you," Charlie said, sitting down beside his wife and daughter.
"I can wait outside," suggested Jane.
"No, stay, we want to ask you something too," Whitney insisted. "We were hoping that the two of you would like to be Abby's godparents."
Tears sprung to Lisbon's eyes, she couldn't contain her excitement.
"Absolutely," she beamed.
The proud parents then turned to Jane. He suddenly looked uncomfortable with the request.
"You don't have to if you don't want to," Whitney immediately interjected.
"No, it's not that," he said shyly. "Actually, I'm very honoured that you want me to be Abby's godfather but, I'm sure you could find someone more qualified."
"Don't be ridiculous, Patrick. I can't see anyone else being more qualified than you."
Finding his hand, Lisbon gave Jane a comforting squeeze. He could see in her eyes not pity, but understanding. He thought this whole situation would have been extremely difficult, seeing two people holding their baby daughter in their arms, brought back memories of his own child, who was brutally taken away from him. He thought he'd feel overwhelming sadness and a part of him did. The dull ache of never being able to hold his precious daughter the way Charlie and Whitney were holding their own, would probably never completely go away. But at the same time, something about this moment felt completely right to him. He felt as if he was finally part of a family again. He felt as if he was finally home.
"I'll do it on one condition."
"What's that?" asked Charlie.
"I get to teach her how to hypnotize people."
"Jane!" Lisbon chastised, elbowing him in the side.
She couldn't stay mad at him even if she tried. His infectious smile got her giggling and soon the entire room was filled with the happy sound of laughter.
When Lisbon and Jane arrived back to the bullpen, the rest of the team was waiting anxiously.
"It's a girl," she exclaimed, unable to contain herself.
"We already knew that," Rigsby replied.
"Oh hush," scolded Van Pelt as she and Lisbon exchanged a hug. "Congratulations. How are dad, mom and baby?"
"They're all doing great. Baby Abby is healthy and happy."
"Abby," Van Pelt gushed. "Awww, that's adorable."
"Okay, okay, enough mushy baby talk," Rigsby said with a scowl.
"What do you have against babies?" Lisbon demanded.
"Nothing, I have no problem with babies. My issue is with women and their cutesie voices when they start talking about babies."
The gang chuckled, including Cho, who was pretending to be occupied with his latest sci-fi novel.
"Rigsby, I'm sure one day you'll learn to love baby talk," Jane teased, pinching Rigsby on the cheek.
"Oh, no, not you too."
Jane simply smirked at the horrified expression on Rigsby's face.
"Hey, why don't you guys just take off early today," Lisbon announced. "The paper work can wait."
Lisbon's comment got Cho's undivided attention.
"It's not Friday," he said evenly.
"I know that. It's nice out and I feel like celebrating."
Her eyes caught Jane's which didn't go unnoticed by the team.
"Well, boss, I think it's a great idea," Van Pelt said breezily.
"Me too," added Rigsby. "You should tell your brother to have more kids."
His comment earned him a punch in the shoulder from Van Pelt.
"Ow," he whined. "That hurt."
"Oh, c'mon now," she teased. "Big baby."
The pair said their goodbyes and went on their way, while Cho marked his page and shoved his book into his desk.
"Have a good night," he said, stoically.
As he walked past Jane, Cho uncharacteristically winked at him before heading out the doors. Jane couldn't help but smile as his eyes fell on the only person left.
"You know if you wanted to get me alone, you could have just asked," Jane said suggestively.
Lisbon rolled her eyes, but kept on grinning. She walked towards him and he held his hands out for hers. Her fingers ghosted across his now naked ring finger.
"Are you sure about this?" she asked. "I don't want you to rush into anything you're not ready for."
He caressed her cheek, enjoying the warm feeling of her skin against his.
"I don't think I've ever been this sure about anything in my life."
Leaning forward, Lisbon kissed him soundly across the lips. It wasn't as frenzied and passionate as she thought their first kiss would be like. Instead, it was slow, chaste and in her mind, perfect. When they parted, their lips lingered against each other's for a moment longer.
"I've been wanting to do that all day," she admitted softly.
"Me too," he replied, grinning. "So what do you want to do tonight?"
"I was thinking you'd take me to the carnival and teach me some carnie tricks."
"Oh, I can't do that. Carnie Cardinal Rule number one, under no circumstances should one share secrets of the carnie way."
"C'mon, please?" she pouted.
"Well, I can make it worth your while."
Her hands travelled slowly down the front of his vest. He definitely hadn't expected this kind of behaviour from his straight laced boss.
"Are you trying to seduce me, Agent Lisbon?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Don't be silly, we're at work. I would never be that sophomoric."
He laughed at way she quoted him as he effortlessly draped his arm around her waist.
"Funny," he said.
"I thought so."
"You're just a little minx, aren't you?"
"Oh, Mr. Jane, you don't know what you're getting yourself into."
Kissing her again, he grinned.
"I'll take my chances."
Her bright green eyes sparkled, gazing into his baby blues.
"I love you too," he whispered, a playful smile on his lips.
"How do you know that's what I was thinking if you're not psychic?"
"I always know what you're thinking and there's no such thing as psychics."
Laughing, she pressed her lips lightly against his before leaving the office. Unbeknownst to the couple, Rigsby, Van Pelt and Cho witnessed the entire exchange from the safety of the copy room.
"It's about time," muttered Rigsby, when they had disappeared into the elevator.
"I'll say," replied Cho before adding quietly. "One down, one to go."
"What was that?" Rigsby asked.
"Nothing. Incidentally, did anyone pick today?"
They slowly turned towards Van Pelt. Grinning smugly, the red-headed agent held out her palm and wiggled her fingers. She clearly enjoyed the surprised looks on their faces.
"Pay up, boys."
Fin for now, Jello Forever