Thank you to absolutely everyone who has been kind enough to leave a review. There's nothing like them to cheer you up when you have a bad day (or several). This part is dedicated to SpaceAnJL, who planted the image of Jane in a tux in my head. And he refused to go away… not that I wanted him to either. Ahem. x tromana
Jane had initially taken his suspension with surprisingly good grace and the team still worked well without him. Okay, it had taken them slightly longer to catch onto the fact that the shop's manager was the murderer and not the checkout boy, but they got there in the end. Towards the end of the week, he had however been sending them all multiple text messages and calling them frequently complaining about how bored he was. Lisbon could only keep her fingers crossed that he'd learned a lesson for a change.
It was the Friday and the team had devoured the closed case doughnuts that Cho had brought in. Over the treat, Lisbon vaguely mentioned that she was thinking about dropping in on Jane. Yes, he was being punished but she was beginning to feel sorry for him. They soon settled into a restive state to complete the paperwork required of the shop murder case they had just closed. Despite the fact closing it without Jane showed that they didn't absolutely need his skills, she missed him like hell. There was no one to jokingly flirt with, no one to argue in jest with. She missed their verbal sparring matches and having someone to yell at when he didn't do things by the book. Lisbon also missed just watching him - he was after all, quite pretty - but she wouldn't admit that for the world.
She dismissed her team earlier than usual, to their delight. They'd finished off their paperwork faster than usual without Jane there to distract them, so they deserved a couple of hours extra break. Besides, with it being a Friday, they were all beginning to lose the focus they usually had. Once the others had left, Lisbon hung behind for a bit and tidied her office before heading outside. She sighed irritably at the fact it was raining as she climbed into the SUV issued to her by the CBI. They'd always been more than happy for her to use it as her personal vehicle as well as for work-related excursions. Besides, it was more economical for her to do so.
The rain pounded down and she fiddled with the radio, before giving up after realising there really was nothing on. The neighbourhood she was travelling through now was unfamiliar territory and she had to concentrate, especially in the horrid weather. Eventually, she reached her destination. The garden was in disarray, yet well-lit. She reached the door, to which a letter had been pinned. Immediately, her blood ran cold. Lisbon pulled it off tentatively and began to read.
I'm not in right now, but there's a spare key in your dash-board. Before you ask, Cho put it there on my behalf. In the living room, there's a dress and some shoes that I believe will fit you. If you could be so kind as to change into it and meet me on my patio, it would be a great honour.
Lisbon rolled her eyes and was in half a mind to turn back. Instead, she did as Jane requested. Sure enough, there was a key exactly where he'd said it was. Unlocking the door, she managed to find the living room immediately. She felt uncomfortable in Jane's house - she knew he hadn't moved since the murders took place and Lisbon felt like she was invading. How on Earth could she compete with a ghost - the woman who Patrick Jane still loved as much as when she was alive? It didn't help that now she was fairly certain her team was ganging up on her. The note said as much - Cho was in on this at the very least.
The dress was beautiful. Silky smooth, it highlighted everything Lisbon would have wanted it to, and more, yet managed to disguise everything required, too. She had changed in the bathroom and it surprised her just how good it looked. The deep red complimented her eyes and she smiled as she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She decided she wasn't even going to bother asking how he knew which dress size she needed. Lisbon then spent a significant amount of time glaring unwillingly at the heels. She just wasn't a heels person, even though with her petite stature meant she could theoretically get away with them a lot more easily than Van Pelt, for example.
Once the shoes had been put on, she hastily grabbed her handbag, mainly to tidy up her hair and makeup. She still was not sure about having to dress up formally like this for no apparent reason. Neither did she know quite why she was going along with it. Taking a deep breath, she headed back into the living room and towards the patio doors and outside. As her hand grabbed hold of the handle, she was silently cursing her damn curiosity. After all, look at what happened to the hypothetical cat.
The majority of Jane's patio was covered by an expansive shelter; it had always been ideal for entertaining guests - not that Jane did that much these days. He smiled as he heard the sound of heels clicking against concrete. He moved swiftly and turned on the music. The sound of piano filled the modest back garden, playing a classical Waltz that Lisbon failed to recognise. Jane appeared from out of the shadows, dressed in a neatly pressed, beautifully cut tuxedo, with water clinging to his blond curls. It was obvious he had just dashed out from under the safety of the shelter.
"I'm not here to compete. I…"
"I know," he replied simply. "And I can't ask that of you. I don't want you to. Thank you for coming."
The music grew louder and Lisbon eyed him warily.
"Isn't this a little sophomoric?"
"A little," he agreed. "Care to dance?"
Lisbon was surprised, but the lesson had helped. Only she hadn't expected it to be so that Jane could attempt to seduce, or at the very least, flirt outrageously with her on his own property. She had no intention of telling him that she now thought those couple of hours hadn't been as much of a waste of time as she originally thought, even though she had a sneaky suspicion he would work it out anyway.
His hand clasped hers gently, and she felt a frisson of excitement run through her veins as he placed the other between her shoulder blades, as he had done so during the farce of a class. Jane beamed at her, looking impossibly attractive in his tux and soon Lisbon wondered how much of her was upright on her own accord and how much was Jane holding her. She was faintly aware of the movement, sweeping across the patio, and more so of his hip firmly locked against hers.
The piece was over far sooner than she'd have liked. Jane released her gently, but not before whispering how much of a natural he thought she was when it came to dancing. Lisbon blushed furiously, just as he'd expected. Grinning, he leaned in and nestled his head in the crook of her neck. The next track had started on the CD. Neither of them had noticed just how far out of the shelter they had strayed, and the fact they were getting significantly wetter by the second.
"Teresa, you look beautiful."
Her cheeks reddened further, and he lifted a hand to gently move a stray hair that was plastered against her forehead. As he cupped a cheek gently, Lisbon found she didn't care if her entire team had been helping Jane to set this up. She didn't care who let him know that she would be arriving at his on the sodden Friday night, though she had her suspicions. All thoughts of the team, work, just how broken they both could be at times were forced from her mind as his lips brushed against hers. Questions about why he wanted her to know about his wife's love of dance, trust and a million and one others ran away as she pulled him in for a deeper kiss. His hair felt so right running through her fingertips as his tongue ran over her lips teasingly.
If she had managed to get the logical side of her brain to compute, she would have already been wondering how to broach the subject of relationships with the team. Considering that would come later. For now, there was just the moment.