Author's Note: This was written because every fandom needs crack-fic. Again, inspired by the cliché-busting threat at Jello-forever, although not so much cliché-busting… More like cliché embracing. What can I say? I've been wanting to try my hand at crack-fic for a while, and when a lovely list of common Mentalist clichés was posted, well, one thing led to another, and this was a result. I am missing a few of course, really any of the ones that required a plot of any kind. And this fic is not to be taken seriously in any way. And Also, I mean no offense to anyone who's used any of the clichés I mention. I've used half of them myself. It was all in fun. And I hope the result is funny, and not just stupid, because I've read it over a couple of times now and I think it could go either way….

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

If you can't beat 'em…

Lisbon walked into the CBI on a typical morning ready to start her day. At least she thought it was a typical morning. She glanced around surreptitiously; nothing looked out of place in the lobby. Still, she couldn't quite shake off the feeling that something was wrong. Not really wrong, nothing dangerous, but something was just… off. Deciding she was just being paranoid she showed her ID to the security guard, flashing him a quick smile and got on the elevator, trying to ignore all of the odd looks everyone around her seemed to be giving her. Did she have something in her teeth? Was something wrong with what she was wearing? Looking down she couldn't see anything obvious… She didn't think it was her, which just left… Oh God, what had Jane done now?

She wandered into the bullpen to check in with her team. Everything looked normal, almost too normal. Van Pelt was typing studiously on her computer looking up something on the database, (although that was a bit odd since they didn't have a case). Cho was reading at his desk. Rigsby was eating a muffin and Jane was laying on the couch. "Morning guys," she said tentatively.

"You're here!" Jane leapt from his couch and jogged over to her. "We were worried when you weren't in your office when we came in."

"What do you mean you were worried?" she asked confused. "I was at home. You know, that place you go when the workday ends? Besides, I'm not even late. Technically the workday doesn't even start for another five minutes."

"But you're supposed to be here first. You're always here first." Rigsby blurted out, then looked self-conscious. "That's just how it works."

"How what works? Half the time Jane or Cho gets in before me." When Rigsby just looked confused she decided to drop it. "Oh never mind, I'm here now. Anything going on?"

"Nah, no case yet." Rigsby told her. "I've just been going over some paperwork, and Van Pelt's doing some research, not sure what for."

"I know!" Jane piped up. "I could do a card trick! Come on guys, gather round."

The rest of her team perked up at that, so Lisbon decided to leave them to it for the time being. "Well, you guys have fun with that, but I'm going to check my e-mail."

She was stopped abruptly when Jane grabbed her hand, and stepped into her personal space, suddenly very grave. "Are you sure you're all right Lisbon?"

Okay, what was going on with everyone? "I'm fine Jane. I just want to check my e-mail. Make sure there's nothing important."

"Because if there was something going on you could tell me you know."

"Okay… but there is nothing going on. Except maybe with you. Are you alright?" Lisbon asked her consultant, suddenly suspicious.

"Oh I'm fine." Jane told her airily. "Don't worry about a thing. You just go check your e-mail. If you need me, I'll be here. Are you sure you don't need anything. I could fold you a paper animal of some kind if you wanted."

"Noo, I'm good. I'll be in my office if anyone needs me." With that Lisbon turned to leave.

"Hey boss?" Van Pelt called after her.

Lisbon turned back, "Yeah?"

"Aren't you at least going to threaten to fire us if we spend too much time watching Jane do card tricks?"

"Um… no. I assumed that wasn't going to take all that long. Besides, looks like a slow morning, and we always end up working long hours when we're on a case anyways, so go ahead." She walked to her office, marginally confused, but hopeful that things would just shake themselves out.

Luckily she was far enough away that she didn't hear Rigsby's whispered question to Van Pelt. "Do you think it's the anniversary of her mother's death or something?" The red-headed agent shook her head, but she still looked concerned.

Meanwhile, Jane just stood watching her, half smirking, and half considering. Suddenly he broke out of his trance, "Okay guys, so let me show you all a trick I learned when I was travelling through Texas a few years back…"

After watching a couple of card tricks, Cho turned back to his book, but Rigsby and Van Pelt kept begging for more. When Jane identified Van Pelt's card correctly for the third time, she sighed, impressed. "You know, sometimes I still think you really are psychic."

"There's no such thing as psychics." Jane told her decisively.

But Rigsby (as usual) agreed with his female colleague, "So you always say man, but seriously, some of the stuff that you…"

Jane interrupted more forcefully. "No. I mean it, there's really no such thing as psychics. Ever."

"If you say so." Rigsby told him skeptically.

"I do. No psychics. None." Then he brightened, "Hey, wanna play some poker?"

"Sure, why not." Van Pelt agreed.

"Hey Cho, since there's not much to do right now wanna play cards with us?" Jane asked.

"Can't." Cho told him matter-of-factly.

"Why not?" Rigsby demanded.

"Reading." Cho told him.

"Right, sorry man. Forgot." Jane told him, before dealing out the cards to the other agents.

xxxxx

About an hour later Lisbon decided to poke her head back into the bullpen to see if the rest of her team were acting anywhere near normal. Cho was still reading, Van Pelt was back on the computer, but she and Rigsby were also watching Jane, who appeared to be juggling bowling pins, while balancing an umbrella on his nose, on a unicycle, somehow still on his couch.

Taking that as a solid no on the being back to normal front, she decided to pretend she hadn't seen anything and went to go get herself a drink from the break room. She almost turned back when she heard a slight scuffle, coming from behind her, but then thought the better of it.

"What are you eating?" Van Pelt yelled at Rigsby as Jane was putting away his bowling pins.

"Ummm… a granola bar?" he told her hopefully.

"A chocolate covered granola bar!" She yelled at him. "What happened to the celery I brought you?"

"Ummm… I lost it?" Rigsby tried.

"Rigsby! How many cups of fruits or vegetables have you eaten today?"

"Maybe one or one and a half?" the hapless agent told her.

"You're supposed to eat between five or six a day! Rigsby! We've been over this, the United States Food Guide recommends that…"

Cho interrupted them, "Would you two just kiss and get it over with, or at least keep quiet so I can read?"

Van Pelt blushed bright red. Rigsby looked embarrassed, but reluctantly pulled two apples out of his desk drawer, handing one to the other agent, who smiled at him.

Jane decided that it was time to go find Lisbon. After all, he hadn't managed to make her blush yet that day, and it was nearly eleven o'clock. Besides, when her cheeks were pink it just made her emerald eyes stand out more. It was a shame she was wearing blue that morning. She always looked better in green.

Meanwhile, Lisbon stood on her tiptoes to reach the container of tea. She scowled. She had no idea why it needed to be kept on the top shelf.

"You could ask for help you know." Jane told her, suddenly appearing behind her, and irritatingly crowding her personal space again.

She shrugged, "I can reach it. It's just a bit of a stretch. It's not a big deal. Besides, I didn't see you there."

"Are you sure that's all it is?" He asked her gravely, before studying her intently.

"Yes Jane, I'm sure." She told him dryly. It was amazing how quickly one could get used to odd behavior really.

"It might help to talk about it," he told her.

"Talk about what?" she asked. She remembered hearing that sometimes the best way to deal with crazy people was to humour them.

"You're sensitive about your height. It's alright Lisbon. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You're certainly not overly short, just a little bit on the petite side. Oh, I'm sorry. You probably prefer vertically challenged. I'm sure that's the more politically correct term. But really, it's nothing to worry about; you're far above the limit at which you'd be legally considered a dwarf. It doesn't affect your work. Besides, it'd be barely noticeable if the rest of us weren't so tall."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Well, okay it would be. But still, it's nothing to worry about. You don't need to be so sensitive. We don't think any less of you. Oh. I didn't mean less in the sense of there being less of you because of your diminutive stature." He paused when he saw the expression of utter incomprehension on her face. "You're angry. I've offended you. I'm sorry. We don't have to talk about it anymore." He gripped her shoulders and looked directly into her eyes, "I just want you to know Lisbon, that if you ever need anyone to talk to, I'll be there. Doesn't matter what time. Really." When she just gaped at him he slowly removed both hands and grinned, all gravity gone. "Looks like you need cheering up." He snapped his fingers. "I'll just go grab a bar of chocolate. California's finest."

Lisbon finally recovered her power of speech. "Jane it's barely eleven in the morning. I don't want a bunch of chocolate right now."

Jane paused, confused, before brightening. "Alright, ice cream then."

"No! Look, I don't know what's gotten into you today, but please don't buy me any food. I don't want it."

"Oh God, this really is serious…" he trailed off, looking concerned.

"Hey guys!" Rigsby said jovially as he bounded into the break room looking for his next snack. "How's it going?"

"Fine." Lisbon told him a bit testily.

"What's with her?" he asked Jane.

"Oh she'll be alright," Jane told him. "She's just a bit sensitive about her height."

"Her height?" Rigsby asked, confused. "Hey boss! I just noticed! You're really short."

Lisbon tried her best not to punch either of the men in the room in the face.

"Who's really short?" Van Pelt asked as she walked into the room.

"Lisbon." Jane told her. "But don't mention it, she's sensitive. I tried to get Rigsby here not to mention it, but he didn't pick up on my subtle hints."

Rigsby tried to look as contrite and puppy-dog like as possible.

"Oh right. Sorry boss." Van Pelt told her quickly. Suddenly something else caught her eye. "Boss, you're drinking tea!"

"So?" Lisbon asked confused, glad for a topic of conversation that wasn't her height.

"You never drink tea!" Van Pelt cried. "You drink coffee. Jane drinks tea."

"Our comments about her height must have shaken her up more than I thought." Jane supplied. "Here Lisbon, let me…" he told her as he tenderly took the tea from her hands, and immediately poured it in the sink.

"Hey!" She cried indignantly. "I was going to drink that!"

"I know you were," Jane told her. "But Lisbon, this isn't the way to deal with your pain. I know they say that consuming large amounts of caffeine stunts your growth, but really that's just an old wives tale. Besides, it won't matter now. You're done growing. Now here, why don't I pour you a nice cup of coffee, and you can go drink it in your office, see if you can't compose yourself. We'll take care of everything."

She looked at Van Pelt and Rigsby for help, only to notice with growing horror that the two agents appeared to be looking at her and nodding along with Jane in concern. "I'm sorry I teased you about your height boss." Rigsby told her as he shuffled his feet. "If I'd known… It's not a big deal, I mean you're still an awesome agent…"

"Thanks Rigsby, I think…" she told him.

Jane handed her a cup of coffee, and moved to direct her to her office. She decided to just go along with it. "I'll be in my office doing paperwork if anyone needs me." She told them when she reached her destination.

"Take all the time you need boss." Van Pelt told her.

"You know you can take some time off. We won't think any less of you." Jane told her.

Lisbon took one more look at the three concerned faces in front of her, before abruptly closing the door, and fighting back a scream. She really had felt like green tea this morning.

xxxxx

After about an hour Lisbon figured it might be safe to leave her office. Hopefully whatever had been causing her team's bizarre moods had disappeared and they'd be back to normal again.

She opened her door, blinked, closed the door and opened it again. Nope, still there. "What the hell?" She cried.

"What's the matter Lisbon?" Jane asked from his couch.

"What is all this stuff?" Lisbon asked, gesturing around her.

"You don't like the new decorations?" Jane asked innocently.

"Well, I'm no botanist, but, it certainly looks like…"

"Yup." Jane confirmed cheerfully. "Mistletoe."

And it was. Somehow during the hour she'd been in her office someone had hung mistletoe on every available surface in the Serious Crimes Unit. "Who?" she asked Jane.

"My guess would be Van Pelt. She's the romantic after all. I think it's festive."

"It's July."

"Still, it does lend the bullpen a certain atmosphere." He told her as he walked towards her.

"Oh no you don't!" She shouted at him. "Stay back!" Her shouts drew the rest of her team. "You too! If anyone comes within five feet of me while we're in the bullpen I will kick their ass so help me god."

"I don't know Boss," Cho told her. "You are standing the closest to Jane…" He trailed off suggestively, well, as suggestively as one could when one was speaking in a monotone.

"I think it's a sign." Van Pelt agreed.

"It is not a sign!" Lisbon cried. "Something strange is going on today! Have none of you noticed it?"

"She's still in denial." Jane supplied, and the other agents seemed to accept his explanation.

"Anyways, we have a case." Cho said. "Minnelli just handed me the folder. We'd better get to the crime scene."

"Alright," Lisbon agreed. "Just all of you stay back until we get out of here."

Jane just rolled his eyes, and followed her at a distance of exactly five feet. The rest of the team followed further behind. As they approached the elevator Lisbon turned abruptly, "Wait! Don't come any closer."

They all stopped, "But boss, you did say once we were out of the bullpen…" Van Pelt pointed out.

Lisbon ignored her. "Everyone turn out your pockets right now. All of your pockets." She ordered.

Sheepishly each of the four members of her team produced a sprig of mistletoe.

"I suspected as much. In the garbage, all of them. And if I catch anyone with any more they're on desk duty for a month, got that?"

The other agents grumbled, but they did produce other sprigs of mistletoe and toss them all. Cho even pulled one from his shoe. His facial expression didn't change, but he was still the most sheepish Lisbon had ever seen him. "Alright, now that that's taken care of let's get to the crime scene."

Rigsby, Van Pelt and Cho got on the first elevator to arrive and abruptly shut the door leaving Jane and Lisbon to catch the next one. When it arrived Jane gestured for her to enter before he did.

"Oh no," she told him. "I am not getting into an elevator with you. Not today. The way my day's been going it'll get stuck and we'll be in there for hours."

"Would that really be so bad?" Jane asked her, leaning in, his eyes twinkling merrily.

"Are you wearing glittery eye-shadow?" She asked him, momentarily distracted. "Never mind. I don't care. I'm taking the stairs. See you at the car."

As he watched her slam the door to the stairwell, Jane merely shook his head indulgently before getting on the elevator. Without Lisbon in the elevator with him the ride went smoothly and he made it to the car almost a full minute before he did. Grinning to himself he got into the driver's seat. Oh this was going to be good.

To his utter disappointment Lisbon just calmly climbed into the passenger seat when she caught up to him. "Aren't you going to demand to drive?" he asked confused.

"No." she told him matter-of-factly. "I let you drive sometimes, you're already sitting in the driver's seat, and we're not going that far. Besides, I figured there was no way in hell I'd be able to get you to move."

"Well, that's true," he admitted. "But you didn't even comment on it."

"So?"

"So, you were supposed to call me a pain in the ass, or hit me in the arm, or you know, roll your eyes at the very least."

"Shut up Jane."

"See! That! That's what I'm talking about! Right there! You were supposed to say 'Bite me!'"

"I have no idea what you're talking about. You're asking me to abuse you? Would you just drive? And don't drive too fast."

"Well at least you're still freaked out about my speeding," Jane muttered under his breath as he started the car.

Lisbon just dropped her head into her hands and told herself that any minute now she'd wake up.

xxxxx

They got to the crime scene after Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho. Rigsby approached the pair eating yet another apple as they got out of their car. "Hey boss. The vic's in his apartment upstairs. So're Cho and Van Pelt. I was talking to the super. Apparently our victim was a pretty quiet tenant, paid his bills on time, no complaints from anyone, but I thought I'd talk to a few of the neighbours anyways. You never know."

"Thanks Rigsby. I'm glad you at least seem to be acting more like yourself now that we're at an actual crime scene." She told him.

He shrugged, "My intelligence comes and goes. I'll start canvassing the neighbours. See you guys up there. It's apartment 2904."

Jane turned to Lisbon with a grin, "So are you going to walk up all the way to the twenty-ninth floor, or will you brave the elevator with me?"

She groaned. "Neither. I'll wait for the next one."

"I do wish you'd trust me dear," he told her sadly.

But Lisbon was unmoved. "I don't trust anyone today. Least of all you."

"Are you afraid to get too close because you think I'll betray you somehow? Or that if we have a relationship Red John might use you to get to me? Because I don't think that'll happen. I would never intentionally put you in the middle Lisbon, and I'm firmly convinced that if Red John ever tried to get to you he'd find himself in some serious pain. Besides who else will save me from myself?"

She sighed, surprised at the conversation's sudden seriousness, "Jane it's not my job to save you. If you want to throw your life away there's very little I can do to stop it, even if I'd rather you didn't. And I've told you before. I can't trust you until you prove you're trustworthy, and words aren't going to cut it. Now would you please just get in the elevator?"

"As milady wishes. Are you sure you won't reconsider and come with me. I'd really like it." He told her, being as persuasive as he knew how.

"I'm positive. Get going."

"At least roll your eyes at me before I go. Just once."

"ARGH! Jane if you don't get up there then you're fired!"

"Good enough," he told her as the doors slid closed.

She met Jane in the hallway and they walked towards the crime scene. First she checked in with Cho and Van Pelt. "Victim's Daniel Adams," Van Pelt told her. "Shot last night in his apartment. So far we don't have much; he wasn't in any of our databases."

"How on earth do you know that? You didn't have time to look him up before we left."

"No, but I spend so much time searching online databases I thought it might be easier to just memorize them. I'm halfway through the B's now," the younger agent told her boss proudly.

Lisbon just nodded absently and turned to the crime scene at hand. It was a man, on his couch. Single gun-shot wound, no forced entry. "I guess we'd better help Rigsby start looking for and interviewing the witnesses." She remarked to Jane.

"No need." Jane told her.

"Why on earth not?" She demanded.

"He was having an affair."

"And how do you know that?"

Jane shrugged, "They always are."

As if on cue a much younger woman ran into the apartment.

"Danny!" she cried. "What on earth happened?"

"That's what we're trying to find out ma'am," Lisbon told her. "And who might you be?"

"Melissa Smart. Danny and I, we were, we were in a relationship."

Jane cut in then, "What about that wedding ring on your finger?"

Melissa looked guiltily between the agents, "My relationship with my husband has been a bit strained lately."

"Because of your affair, maybe." Jane supplied, looking at Lisbon meaningfully.

"No before that, it just, it just wasn't working. So when I met Danny and we just clicked, one thing led to another and…"

Lisbon opened her mouth to ask the woman where she'd been the night before when another man came charging into the apartment.

"Melissa!" he yelled. "What'd I tell you about coming back here?"

"I'm guessing this is your husband," Jane supplied. When Melissa nodded he continued. "Alright, then Mr. Smart where were you last night."

"What you think I did this?" The man bellowed.

"Um, yeah. You look pretty good for it to me. I mean, you clearly knew about your wife's affair." Jane pointed out logically.

"Alright, fine. It was me. You happy? I found out about the affair, showed up here late last night, pretended to be a Jehovah's Witness and shot the jerk with my dad's old hunting rifle. He was sleeping with my wife!"

"Well I guess that's that then." Jane said. "One of you arrest him would you?" he said turning to Cho and Van Pelt.

Lisbon looked around dumbfounded while Cho arrested the still-screaming husband. "I think that was the shortest case ever."

Jane looked at her indulgently, "Haven't you learned yet that the cases are just an excuse for us to be together?" He continued before she could formulate an appropriate response, not that there was one of course. "But you're right, this one was easy. We didn't even have to stick him in an interrogation room with Cho. And I told you it was an affair."

She ignored that. "Why were we even called in?"

"Oh, our victim was probably a friend of the governor, or somebody else important. What's it matter? Case is done now. Better get back to the CBI. You've got paperwork and I've got to take another nap on my couch."

"Do you ever actually sleep?"

"No, but I look like I do and that's what counts," he told her definitively.

The team packed up their things and went to go back to the CBI. "Going to brave the elevator ride down with me Lisbon?" Jane asked her teasingly.

"Yup." Jane looked pleased, until she continued speaking. "Because we are all getting in the same elevator, so everything will be alright." She ignored the traumatized looks on the faces of the rest of her team, and just herded them all into the elevator, including their suspect. She wasn't taking any chances.

When they were all in the elevator Jane started up again, "Why you think the elevator has to actually stop for something to happen is beyond me. I mean, it takes a good minute and a half to two minutes to go up or down twenty-nine floors."

"What's your point Jane?" Lisbon asked against her better judgment.

"I'm just saying, you, me, an enclosed space, a lot could happen in two minutes." He told her, raising his eyebrows suggestively.

Van Pelt blushed, but Lisbon ignored him. "Not if I knee you in groin before you get in."

"You're not blushing!" Jane cried. "You're not blushing, and you were immediately able to come up with an appropriate response! That's upsetting to me Lisbon. I love it when you blush. Don't try and pretend you're immune to my charms my dear. I know better."

"Cho, you and Jane are switching cars on the way home." She couldn't stand another drive with Jane. Besides, her whole team may be acting completely nuts, but at least Cho wasn't annoying.

xxxxx

"Closed case pizza time!" Rigsby said excitedly as soon as they got back to the CBI.

"Do we really want pizza now?" Lisbon asked. She paused when four pairs of eyes turned to her in shock. "I mean, it's what, two-thirty in the afternoon? Wouldn't something else be more appropriate? Donuts, coffee, something more snack-like?" When her colleagues continued to stare she finally caved, "Fine get pizza then. No pineapple this time though."

"Hey thanks boss," Cho told her.

"Don't thank me; I'm just not in the mood to listen to your complaining."

"Still, I think it's evidence of our unspoken bond."

"Hey!" Jane exclaimed. If anyone has a special relationship with Lisbon it's me!"

"Now boys," Van Pelt cut in, ever the pacifist. "I'm sure both of your relationships with Lisbon are very special. There's no need to be competitive."

"Because we all know I'd win." Jane told her.

Cho just shrugged and went back to his book.

"Need I remind you all that I'm standing right here?" Lisbon asked her team.

"Of course you are dear. Feeling neglected are we? Would you like me to read your mind?"

"No!"

"Try to hypnotize you?"

"No!"

"Flirt with you outrageously despite the fact that I'm still consumed by my quest for revenge?"

"NO! What I would like is for everyone to go back to normal!"

"Your eyes are lovely when you're angry, like a stormy sea."

"ARGH! Alright fine, you win! Jane, you're a pain in the ass! Do you want me to smack you in the arm as well or would that be too much? Guess you'll just have to settle for me storming back into my office to escape you. Let me know when the pizza gets here. I'll be doing paperwork." And with that Lisbon did storm into her office.

Jane turned back to the others, "What did I tell you, special relationship."

The boys nodded, and Van Pelt just sighed. After all, a forbidden love like theirs was just so romantic. And if Jane and Lisbon started dating, it could lead the way for a relationship between her and Rigsby.

xxxxx

The cold case pizza came and went, and by five-thirty Lisbon had finished most of her paperwork. There wasn't that much when a case lasted half an hour because the murderer confessed the second he walked in the room. Thank goodness this day was almost over. She could only hope that whatever was causing her team to act the way they were sorted itself out by tomorrow. She poked her head into the bullpen, "Alright, I'm off guys. Why don't you all head out. There's nothing else for us to do tonight."

Her team seemed to agree with her and all started to pack up. "Hey guys, wanna grab some dinner tonight?" Rigsby asked them all.

"Yeah, why not?" Jane told him. I don't have anywhere I need to be.

"I'm in." Cho agreed.

"Fine, but not Mexican." Van Pelt told them, much to Rigsby and Cho's dismay.

Four heads turned Lisbon's way. She shrugged, she'd gotten this far, what could it hurt. "Sure," Lisbon agreed. "But I can't stay long because I'm meeting some friends for drinks later tonight."

You could have heard a pin drop in the bullpen. "I'm sorry, you're what?" Van Pelt asked her.

"Going for drinks with friends?" Lisbon told her. She thought it was a testament to how crazy working with Jane normally was that she hadn't run from the building screaming before now. "You know, when you meet people at a bar, gossip about your jobs, your love lives, the last movie you've seen?"

Rigsby took up the torch, "Yeah, but we just didn't realize that you … ummm…"

"Had a life outside of the office." Jane finished for him, realizing that the young agent was about to put his foot in his mouth yet again.

"You didn't think I had any friends?" Lisbon asked, shocked, and let's face it, a little bit insulted. "I did go to college you know. I met people there. I have a life outside of work; I just don't bring it to the office with me."

"Of course you don't dear." Jane told her soothingly. "And of course you have friends, lovely woman that you are, who wouldn't want to be friends with you?" He tried to put an arm around her shoulders, but she gave him a look that froze him in his tracks. He might be acting crazy, but at least he didn't appear to have a death wish. And he rallied quickly. "Alright, well, shall we go? It'll just be the five of us of course. Hope that's not too awkward for you Cho. It's too bad you don't ever think to bring a date."

"Well, it's hardly surprising he never brings a date." Rigsby said. "He turns down perfectly eligible, beautiful women."

"Hey! I could have a date!" Cho said indignantly. Or rather, he would have said it indignantly, but again, since he was Cho he said it in a monotone.

"No you couldn't." Rigsby told him.

"It is unfortunate that five is an uneven number, but that's just the way it is." Jane told him philosophically. "Don't let it bother you."

"I don't let it bother me." Cho insisted.

"I'm glad you've become resigned. Don't worry buddy, you'll find someone someday." Jane told him encouragingly.

Lisbon just followed her colleagues out of the building, wondering if it was too late to call the psych ward, before admitting to herself that no matter how crazy he got she could never do that to Jane.

xxxxx

And dinner was actually pretty normal. Well, normalish. For some reason Jane was building a house of cards on the table, and Cho appeared to have brought his book. Also, well, by the time desert rolled around Rigsby and Van Pelt were practically sitting in each other's laps and were currently sharing a sundae… but given how the rest of the day had been going, all and all not too bad.

Suddenly she heard Jane whisper in her ear, "Try not to worry about it too much Lisbon." He told her, gesturing to their colleagues, who were still giggling over their sundae. "Don't they deserve a chance at happiness?"

She ignored the feeling of his breath in her ear. Suddenly the room felt much, much hotter. "I don't know why everyone assumes I'd be so against a relationship between them. As long as they keep it out of the office and it doesn't affect their work, I don't really care. Besides, you're right, they would be cute together."

"Now there's that maternal side of yours. You keep it far too well hidden you know."

She gaped at him, "What are you talking about? I don't try to hide it at all."

"So you say, but you can't deny that you do try to hide some things."

"Everyone tries to hide some things Jane. No one wants people to know their deepest darkest secrets. Besides, don't you just figure them out anyways, without being told?"

He shrugged, "Other people's yes. For example I know for a fact that Cho is trying to finish the list of the hundred most popular novels by the end of the year. He's got eighteen to go. And I know that when she was twelve Van Pelt's pet turtle died, and she never quite got over it. And I know that Rigsby does exactly fifty push-ups and fifty sit-ups each night before he goes to sleep without fail. But you, you I can never seem to quite get a read on."

"Yesterday you guessed what I'd ordered from the deli for lunch. And the day before that you figured out my mother's favourite colour from the way I was holding my pencil." She pointed out.

"Okay, yes, I admit, sometimes I get flashes of inspiration. But you hide yourself from me so well sometimes; it fascinates me. Makes me want to know you inside out." He told her as he moved closer to her, brushing her hair out of her face.

"What are you doing Jane?" She asked him, swallowing and trying to breathe normally.

"Nothing yet." He told her. But he didn't pull back.

But then again, neither did she. How had she never noticed how lovely Jane's eyes were before now? How his hair curled just so. And why was she getting such an urge to run her fingers through it? What was wrong with her? Oh God. It had gotten her. She'd finally succumbed to whatever the others were suffering from. But she couldn't bring herself to care. How does that old saying go? 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' She wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him towards her. If her whole team was going to go crazy she might as well reap the benefits. Lisbon's last thought before Jane kissed her was that her girlfriends wouldn't mind if she was a bit late. Especially now that she'd actually have a really good story to tell when she finally did show up.

xxxxx

Fin