Disclaimer: Not owning it.

A/N: Okay, so I wanted to write something up for the October Challenge on jello-forever(dot)proboards(dot)com and this is what I came up with. The challenge is 'Frozen in time' I'm not entirely sure I did it justice but I absolutely love this one regardless. Kinda short but I've never written anything without some form of dialogue before. :)

Everybody knew that Patrick Jane was a man on a mission. That phrase had been used around the CBI more than once when referring to the consultant and he found it kind of fitting. It was true, he did have a mission. A gruesome bloody mission that promised to ruin his future and yet for some reason that had never bothered him. Nothing really did. He had heard all the rumors; the whispers behind his back. Some people had decided he killed his own family and framed Red John but he knew the truth and they could think whatever they wanted. He didn't care about their opinions; he didn't care if they hated him. He supposed it was because of his heart, it had been dormant since the second he saw his family lying in pools of their own blood. It had metaphorically stopped beating and the warmth of being alive had stopped with it. He no longer cared about his life, didn't care if he lived or died when it came down to Red John but he was going to make sure the murderous bastard paid one way or another. The only thing he could feel was regret and hatred.

He no longer felt the warmth of the sun while it beat down on him. Sure, he could feel the heat on his skin but he no longer felt that it reached any further than that. It didn't warm his soul or make him feel any less dead inside. In fact there was only one thing that did; one person. It had started with a tiny flutter in his chest the first time he had riled her up while working a case. Teresa Lisbon was a force to be reckoned with and he realized that the small almost unnoticable flutter only happened when she was annoyed with him. Maybe it was selfish, but he found himself getting into trouble more often just to feel it again. He'd gone so long without feeling anything good that she was quickly becoming an addiction of sorts. A way to feel a spark of life. It didn't help any that she really was beautiful. That tiny flicker of emotion in his heart left him hopeful that maybe the cold wouldn't last forever.

The first time he had seen her smile another twinge, except this one he was more aware of. It was bigger, had more effect and it then became his goal to make her smile and still annoy her all at the same time. Sometimes it worked better than others but he always kept trying. He needed to feel something; life had no meaning if you were living like a stone. He tried not to think of what might happen once the Red John thing was over and done with but he found himself wondering if his heart would ever truly beat again. Was it wrong of him to want to feel something, to want to care for someone? He knew that Lisbon cared for him from the first time she had saved his sorry ass after a not so well thought out plan. The passionate way she berated him afterwards had given her away. He had wondered from that moment if her heart ever fluttered when it came to him, or if she was just as scarred and frozen as he was.

It was unnerving for him to think about her being broken but he could tell she was. He didn't like the thought of someone so warm living the same cold life as him. It was thoughts like that which told him he must care about her a little bit. It didn't scare him as much as it probably should have. In fact he was almost to that jumping up and down excited point but he kept himself in check on the outside.

The first time she touched him his chest felt like it was going to explode and that was only from her fingers brushing against his arm. He counted that as one full heartbeat. That was also the day he started considering her his friend instead of just a means to an end. It was a welcomed revelation and he had smiled, truly smiled, for the rest of the day while refusing to leave her office for more than five minutes at a time.

The first time he touched her it had been on accident. His hand had found hers in a darkened room that was supposed to be their grave but he had been reaching for the wall; trying to find a way out. Their eyes had met through the shadows and this time there were two full beats before she jerked away and mumbled an apology. It disappointed him that the touch was gone but it also proved him right. She cared or she wouldn't have been so flustered about it and judging by the way she kept quiet until he found a way out, he'd guess she hated herself for caring about him. Although it saddened him, he couldn't blame her.

The first time he saw her cry, his heart had wrenched in pain for her as he pulled her into his chest. She had tried to pull away but he wouldn't let her and it didn't take long until she was collapsing against him. He had whispered words of comfort in her ear, words that he himself absolutely hated. To him they held no merit and after only seconds he knew she felt the same way so he continued to hold her instead of trying to make it better. The entire time she was resting against him, hugging him to her body, he felt warm inside. Alive instead of dead and when she had let go and moved away the warmth stopped. It was almost as if someone had turned off the switch and it would be a lie if he said he hadn't been tempted to pull her close again and keep her there.

Then there was today, she had stood up for him and got grilled for it in the process but she never backed down. He felt she deserved a thank you and once they were alone he'd kissed her on the cheek. He'd let his lips linger against her smooth skin longer than necessary but he couldn't help it. She was an addiction, a rush that he loved to experience and for three full heart beats neither of them moved. A sigh had left her lungs when his hand caressed the side of her neck but nobody spoke. There was a silent agreement that passed between them. One that promised they'd be there for each other. They had each other's backs.

Maybe one day his metaphoric heart would regain function, come out of the dormant stage and no longer be frozen in time. Until then, he would settle for scattered beats and small flutters as long as Lisbon was the one causing them. She was the only one who could possibly recharge the battery and unthaw the ice. She could be his heartbeat.

A/N: Rather hopeful ending....my shipper has been going nuts lately! (I'm blaming the new season for this) Speaking of that I need to work on a few other stories now so hope you liked my little 'coming out of writer's block' story. :)