So here is what will be my second entry for the jello-forever September challenge (prompt is smile). It should somewhat counteract the fluffiness of the last one. Not Jane/Lisbon though. Just Lisbon, thinking about Jane
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Lisbon hated it when Jane smiled.
Okay, maybe not always, but most of the time.
For one, he had a particular way of doing it that could be so condescending.
And at least once a case, he used it to make her feel inferior. Intentionally? Maybe not, she couldn't always be sure, but she often suspected yes.
She'd ask him a completely innocent question, usually "What makes you think he did it?" or "Why should we go do that?" or some other variation of the theme, and he'd just grin. Grin at her like the answer was the most obvious thing in the world, that he couldn't believe she hadn't figured it out already, that it was lucky for her she had such a genius like him to help her out otherwise the team would probably just be bumbling around in the dark for days. (They'd been solving cases perfectly well before he came thankyouverymuch, and if he left she had no doubt the unit would still manage to carry on without him). That particular brand of Jane-smile was patronizing and superior and indulgent (like she was a two-year old that couldn't manage to get jam off of her hands) and it never failed to make her feel a little silly and wish she could come up with something to wipe the damn thing off of his face (sometimes she fantasized about that something being her fist). It never seemed to matter how many times she actually was right, he was always so far ahead on the mental scorecard she'd never admit to keeping that when she thought she might have actually beat him it almost seemed irrelevant. (Plus there was always the nagging thought that he might have just let her win one as some sort of consolation prize).
Of course his smiles weren't all condescending. Some were teasing. She didn't necessarily hate those ones, but she didn't exactly love them either.
When he smiled like that he made her feel flustered.
Jane loved knocking people off balance, could spend hours teasing and prodding until you felt so out of your element you were praying for any kind of distraction at all for relief from the onslaught (A serial killer, three hours worth of paperwork, an emergency evacuation of the building...). Because Jane'd tease until you retorted without thinking. Never a good idea. Because whatever came out of your mouth next was practically guaranteed to sound idiotic (and probably would tell him exactly what he was after). Not that she'd ever said anything too bad, but whenever she slipped up he'd grin that grin of his like he'd caught her making some sort of highly embarrassing mistake, or admitting something she hadn't wanted to, and then whatever she'd said sounded about eighteen times worse (at least to her own ears) than it really was. Plus, to add insult to injury, every time, every time, she could feel the heat rising to her cheeks, and she knew that she was blushing. Then his grin would grow and her only recourse would be to run. Not literally of course, no way in hell would she ever let him see her physically flee his presence, but she always found some excuse or other to not be in his company. The air of triumphant amusement was just intolerable. She was not just a toy for him to amuse himself with when he was bored.
But even more irritating than the constant teasing (which she had to admit was sometimes fun. After all, she wasn't so uptight that she couldn't appreciate humour), was how whenever Jane smiled just right people fell at his feet.
It wasn't that she was jealous of his abilities (okay, maybe a little... sometimes), but there were times when a couple of agents would be talking to a person of interest for ten minutes and get very little help then Jane'd waltz up, flash a grin and charm the information out of the person in seconds. She didn't like the manipulation, didn't trust it. And even worse than the charm was the hypnotism (that she doubted she'd ever be able to make him stop). Doing things by the rules might not have been as much fun, but there was less chance of a problem down the line. And the way he used his smile to skip over necessary steps because he could made her uneasy.
Of course, the possibly illegal manipulation wasn't the most terrifying thing about his abilities. The most terrifying thing was that sometimes she thought she might be almost as susceptible to whatever he was selling as their suspects.
And that wasn't the worst of it. Private as she was, that smile wasn't near his worst. She really didn't like when his smiles turned deliberately provoking, and almost cruel.
Those were the smiles he used when he couldn't be bothered to charm information from a suspect. Oh no, those smiles were the more malicious cousins of the smile he used to make her feel inferior. After all, she was (fairly) certain that wasn't always deliberate on his part. These were. He used one of those smiles when he'd figured out something about a potential suspect, something incriminating, or incendiary, or (depending on his mood), just plain embarrassing. And then her consultant stood smirking at his target, trapping them with his words, and daring them to deny everything and prove him wrong. It was the smile that usually directly preceded some sort of insane stunt or highly offensive remark followed by a formal complaint. It was the smile he used when he was deliberately trying to mock, to scorn, to provoke, and there was nothing even remotely friendly about it. He had set his trap, and now he was going to watch as his intended victim (almost always) fell into it, proving his superiority, his brilliance, his own abilities. And he was going to enjoy it. It gave you a glimpse of the absolute arrogance the man was capable of, and caused her to flash back to what little she knew about his treatment of his former 'clients.' Back before he learned the hard way that people don't take kindly to being toyed with (something which even after all that had happened she wasn't sure had actually sunk in). That smile, even if it only lasted a moment (wouldn't want some of your more discerning targets to catch on after all), made anyone who knew him remember that beneath the glossy exterior, Patrick Jane hadn't necessarily always been a very nice man (and might not be still).
That smile made you remember that his facial expression was usually some kind of a guard, a first line of defence, well, actually more of a diversion. That beneath the surface there was always something going on with Patrick Jane. Something far more complicated, far darker than he wanted you to know about.
And he used the smile to mask it, and that frightened her, made her want to question everything he ever said to her, made her resent that she could never really trust a member of her own team.
She hated that he used a smile as a sort of cheerful exterior to mask the pain, like some sort of garish and unconvincing makeup job on an aging actress desperately trying to fool an audience into believing they were young again. It leant a certain sinister aspect to some conversations (and one which he probably didn't intend).
Like when he'd told her his plans for Red John.
She'd hated the falsely innocent smiles he'd kept throwing her, the jokes intended to distract. They'd made her want to shake him, get him to see sense. Her only recourse had been to maintain as a calm and serious an expression as possible, because internally she'd been floundering, terrified by the levity he purported.
Okay, so he hadn't actually smiled when he'd told her that he planned on cutting up the serial killer so that the psycho died slowly, but the grin had been back almost full force mere seconds afterwards. Even though she assumed Jane's intent had been to use it to mask his emotions that smile alone had been oh so very revealing. Who casually mentions a gruesome murder and follows it with a joke and a smile? A sociopath? A man a warped sense of morality? A man whose entire external persona was a lie? If Jane could smile moments after confessing to intended murder while he teased her for her own more traditional attitude towards law and justice... (Like it was completely absurd that she'd be against his committing cold-blooded murder.) He'd tried to turn the conversation back to their normal banter, but there was no banter after that. You can't banter with someone after they've told you their plans include cutting someone up as painfully as possible. And someone who can do that, well... Someone like that needed to be closely watched.
That smile instead of comforting as intended had scared her far more than any of the words he'd used to describe his plans.
But then, Red John always brought out the worst of Jane's smiles. Like the one he'd shown her when she'd ignored their agreement and shown up early, when she'd told him Hardy'd lead them to Red John.
It had been full of sarcasm and anger directed towards her. She didn't like when Jane was openly cynical, knew he could be of course from his treatment of their suspects, but the idea of it being directed towards her or another member of her team turned her stomach, especially knowing his views of the law and 'justice'. That smile gave you a very quick and very uncomfortable view into what might lie beneath in the mind of Patrick Jane. Against that smile she'd been helpless, her words turned ineffectual and trite, sounding hollow, unconvincing and full of forced confidence (even if she had actually believed every one at the time).
She hated that he had given up, how little his own life seemed to matter, how far gone he actually was.
Condescending, teasing, charming, cruel, false or angry, Jane had many smiles all with their own particular dangers. But most of all Lisbon hated his friendly smile, like the one he was currently sending her across the bullpen as he carefully constructed a house of cards. Because that smile made it look like he cared about her, like she was special, like they were friends, like she meant something to him. It was full of affection, and fun, and flirtation, and yes, incredibly captivating. Sometimes it seemed to brighten the entire room (including, she admitted, her own face).
But she still hated it.
Because when he smiled at her like that, he made it hard to remember that a smile from Jane was almost always hiding something. That one of his grins usually didn't mean a thing, and probably never word.