Running Through Red Lights
Disclaimer: Don't own anything…Lyrics by the super talented Mat Kearney.
Spoiler: Red Badge
A/N: This was such an amazing episode and all the awesome Jane/Lisbon moments inspired me. Enjoy!
Part I: Silent Night
"Something's in the air tonight
The sky's alive with a burning light
You can mark my words something's about to break…"
CBI headquarters were dark and silent.
The only light came from Teresa Lisbon's office as she leaned against her desk, her mind wandering as she fixated on the caution tape covering the broken window.
She'd pulled off a convincing performance tonight, but at what cost?
When Jane suggested the plan, she was hesitant at best, completely motivated by anger at being manipulated by her psychiatrist, ready to do anything to make that bastard pay.
It was disturbing to her that she'd been used by someone hired by the department and so she agreed to the plan.
However, now as she recalled everything that happened since then, including the things she'd admitted while presumably "breaking down", she couldn't help but wonder if maybe she was so convincing, because she was nearing that state herself.
Lisbon closed her eyes for a second, hoping for some reprieve, but all she saw behind closed lids were images from the past, flashbacks, suppressed memories that were fighting their way out of her subconscious ever since she was confronted with the possibility that she could have killed and not realized it.
The actual act of killing a demented child molester didn't bother her one bit, if anything it gave her a bit of satisfaction. What terrified her, though, was that she couldn't remember it, just like her father couldn't remember every single time he'd landed one of his sons in the hospital.
She'd been lucky to be a girl.
For reasons of propriety or maybe the fact that she reminded him of his dead wife, Lisbon's father never did any physical harm to her, but her brothers weren't as fortunate.
And suddenly, as each of her brothers' faces flashed before her eyes in various states of cuts and bruises, the memory proved to be too much and she opened her eyes, only to be met with the half amused, half concerned stare of Patrick Jane.
"Thinking about something?" He asked with eyes trained on her from across the room.
She blinked, startled by his appearance, but strangely not alarmed.
She didn't know what that meant, but despite how annoying, overbearing, and intruding he could be, Jane never made her uncomfortable.
If anything, he made her feel safe, which set off warning bells in her head, because feeling safe had been a foreign feeling to her since she was 12 years old…since her mom died.
And Jane didn't even carry a weapon.
But then, he had saved her life not three months ago…
She blinked again, raising an eyebrow this time, "Teresa?"
"You weren't responding to Lisbon," Jane explained, smiling softly as he stepped into the room and leaned against the desk besides her.
She'd seen so much of him lately, let him hypnotize her, let him into her apartment, into her personal sanctuary.
Yet as his shoulder brushed against hers, a shiver ran down her spine, followed by goose bumps.
Lisbon looked away, making sure the blonde consultant didn't see the blush that spread over her cheeks otherwise she'd never hear the end of it.
"What were you thinking about?"
She heard him this time, loud and clear.
The cadence of his tone intimate and shiver inducing.
When she looked at him again, his blue eyes the brightest spot in the dark office, the intensity of his gaze made her step back a little.
She wasn't sure how they could go from being playful and sarcastic around each other, to being silent and serious, but yet here they were.
His body was radiating heat and he looked concerned and he was waiting for a response with a patient smile on his handsome face and Lisbon felt a stirring that hadn't been there in years and it made her move away from him.
"Nothing," Lisbon said too quickly and Jane smiled to himself, observing her, and she felt scrutinized but oddly normal.
She was used to his looks; it was the concern in his eyes, his closeness, and him calling her by her first name that she wasn't used to.
"What are you going to do? Arrest me?" Lisbon smirked, walking to her chair to grab her jacket.
"Don't have any handcuffs,"
Lisbon let out a chuckle, "What'd you do leave them at home?"
Jane turned around, crossing his toned arms over his dark blue vest, "You've got a dirty mind, Teresa."
The brunette agent rolled her eyes, while putting on her jacket, "I have a dirty mind? I wasn't even thinking about what you're thinking I thought."
"How would you know what I thought you were thinking?"
Lisbon opened her mouth to respond, but then slammed it shut, figuring it'd be a lot easier to admit defeat with Jane then try to beat him,
"Nevermind, c'mon…" she motioned toward the door of her office as she shut off the table lamp.
"Where're we going?"
"Celebrating for cracking the bastard today"
She wasn't sure why she was being so brave, but she was and she didn't question it.
"What makes you think I don't have any plans?" Jane deadpanned, but Teresa didn't even flinch,
"Well, let's see, it's 10:30 on a Friday night and you were loitering around the office, it's safe to say whatever plans you had, mine are better."
"My, my, aren't you insightful?" He murmured, but his voice had a facetious tone to it and he was already following her to the door.
"Yea, maybe I can be your apprentice?" She quipped as they stepped out of her office.
He playfully nudged her on the way to the elevator and they were back to banter again.
The night was warm and quiet as they sat on her porch, sharing a bottle of whiskey between them.
Every time Jane took a sip, his lip curved a bit down and Teresa couldn't help but smile.
"You don't usually drink, huh?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"Am I that obvious?" He grimaced more openly, handing the bottle back to her.
"Kind of, but then again, it's whiskey." Lisbon pointed out, taking a lengthy pull herself,
"It's supposed to taste like shit," she added and Jane sent her a bemused look,
"Tsk, tsk, Lisbon, potty mouth." He teased good-naturedly and the brunette detective smirked,
"You already said I had a dirty mind, I'm just fulfilling expectations,"
"The two go together?" Jane deadpanned and Teresa just shoved him lightly,
"You know what I mean."
They elapsed into another round of silence, but this time the blonde consultant broke it,
"So which one of your brothers played soccer?"
"Chris, the oldest one." Teresa replied without thinking, but then backtracked,
"Why'd you ask?"
"The jersey you were wearing, number 99 huh?" He recalled and saw the faint blush appear on his colleague's cheeks.
She looked away for a moment, but he smiled anyway.
He'd never tell her so, but when he'd showed up at her house just a few minutes before her therapist, and she opened the door in nothing but that jersey, exposing smooth, tanned legs, Jane thought he'd done a pretty good job himself pretending that seeing her outside of work in nothing but a flimsy top that barely grazed her thighs, hadn't roused a physical stirring him that had been absent for years.
Just as the thought crossed his mind, his wedding band caught the porch light, glimmering, and he paused mid-sip, watching the ring almost taunt him with its prominence on his finger.
He frowned as guilt washed over him.
This was why he didn't interact with people outside of work, especially those he couldn't get out of his mind later on.
This is why he should not have overstepped professional boundaries and allowed himself to have drinks with the kind hearted and beautiful woman besides him.
Teresa Lisbon was dangerous.
With just one peak into her life outside of CBI he was already intrigued, not only intrigued but also concerned for her and he couldn't let these emotions blind him to his ultimate goal.
His main reason for even taking the consultant job was to catch Red John, avenge his family's murder and he couldn't veer off course.
Teresa was about to reply, when Jane abruptly stood up.
Something had changed in the last minutes of silence, but she wasn't sure what it was.
She didn't possess psychic abilities, but she could read him perfectly at the moment, and her heart constricted unexpectedly when she realized he was trying to keep whatever was bothering him at bay.
"I have to go," He said without an explanation and she didn't push.
"Okay," Lisbon stood up as well, brushing off her jeans,
"Thank you for the drink," Jane motioned as he started to walk away.
"No problem." she nodded, watching him as he stood ambivalently on the last step of the porch.
He looked lost, but devastatingly handsome. His golden curls and standard attire made him look almost ethereal against the undisturbed dark of the night, and on impulse, she skipped a few steps and grabbed his hand,
"Thank you for helping clear my name today, if you ever need to talk, I'm here." She said, and before either of them realized what was happening, Teresa leaned in and pressed a soft, chaste kiss to his stumbled cheek.
The action spread unexpected warmth through his entire body and he tried his best not to flinch, knowing it would be misinterpreted by the guarded but sensitive brunette.
"You're welcome, I have to go now." He said softly, his lips a hairsbreadth away from her face.
Their eyes met in the dark and Teresa nodded with a small smile, but Jane could see she was disappointed.
So he squeezed her hand before breaking apart, because anything more would have had him pulling her inside the house and never leaving.
And he couldn't do that…not yet anyway
"Have a good night, Teresa." He murmured, before walking towards his car.
She leaned against the porch, taking a lengthy sip from the whiskey bottle as she watched him walk away, knowing full well that he'd be the death of her someday.
It was only when Patrick was inside his car that he truly let the day's events wash over him and as he braced his hands on the wheel, his wedding ring caught his eye again.
He knew his purpose, but looking up, seeing Lisbon look forlornly at his car from her porch, a familiar ache spread through his body, and he knew right then, that if he wasn't more careful around the agent, something would happen and he wasn't sure if he would survive the guilt.