A Secret Santa gift for shoppingluva91 at the Jello Forever forum.
A few spoilers for "A Price Above Rubies" which I haven't actually seen but I've seen bits and pieces of it, so forgive me if some stuff is wrong.
When I get to my office on Tuesday morning, there's a set of photographs waiting on my desk, from the benefit the other night.
One of Cho, holding a drink and looking into the camera lens with his trademark non-enthusiasm.
One of Rigsby and Van Pelt. She 's smiling at the camera but Rigsby's looking down at her with such adoration it makes me smile. They're really making it difficult for me to pretend I don't know about their relationship, if they're going to make it this obvious, I don't know how much longer I can keep up the act of ignorance.
Still, it's a nice picture. Maybe I'll make them some copies and slip them onto their desks later.
Here's one of the five of us together. Cho's even smiling. I'm going to get this one framed and keep it at home. A family portrait, if you will.
The next photograph is of Jane and me. He's got his arm around me and neither of us is looking at the camera because we're arguing. As I recall, I was telling him to get his arm off me before I broke it.
The one after is another of the two of us, only this time we're smiling. He's still got his arm around me. Jerk.
But instead of moving on, I gaze at the image of Jane, taking in his million-dollar smile for a long moment.
Then I throw the picture down, disgusted with myself.
So Patrick Jane looks good in a tuxedo.
There's a revelation, I sure didn't see that one coming.
After all, it's only a small step from a 3-piece suit to a tux.
And so what if my heart skipped a beat when I saw him in the foyer outside the ballroom where the party was. And how my brain suddenly went blank for a moment when he saw me and flashed me that smile that would have a lesser woman melting into a little puddle on the floor.
But not me. I am Teresa Lisbon, hard-assed, straight-laced member of the California Bureau of Investigation. And state agents do not fall for their jerk-off, smart-ass consultants.
Even though I was having a hard time keeping the smile off my face while he was on the stage doing magic tricks for the crowd at the benefit. He still manages to amaze me with his ability to have almost anyone eating out of the palm of his hand.
This has to stop. I have to get rid of these thoughts about him. The pleasurable feeling that comes up whenever I see him has to go away. I can't work like this for much longer.
Apparently all the murderers are on vacation this morning because so far, we don't have a case to solve.
I'm still in my office; Rigsby, Cho and Van Pelt are in the kitchenette making coffee, but Jane's not here yet. That's weird; it's not like him to be late.
The office has been bustling with activity all morning, but suddenly it's gone silent.
Curious, I poke my head around the doorframe to see what's going on.
I should've known. Jane is what's going on.
Instead of his usual elegant attire, today he's in jeans and a blue shirt that I can't help but notice sets off his eyes perfectly. Every woman in the room is watching him, but he acts like he doesn't notice as he ambles casually out of the elevator towards his couch.
Damn the man. What right does he have to make casual clothes so…sexy? And he's done something to his hair that gives it a dishevelled, windswept kind of look. Of course, it just adds to his appeal. I wonder if…
No! Snap out of it, Teresa!
He spots me, and alters his course in my direction.
I go back inside my office and wait. Sure enough, he strolls in without knocking and claims the seat on the opposite side of my desk.
"What's with the new look?" I ask.
He shrugs. "Just felt like a change. Though I didn't expect it to cause such a stir." He grins at me. "Look. We match."
I look down and he's right of course. Damn it. If only I hadn't spilled coffee on my black pants yesterday.
No wait, not coffee, tea.
And I didn't spill it, Jane did.
He's done this on purpose I just know it.
"Don't we make an adorable couple?" he asks.
It takes all my restraint not to smile. The last thing he needs is encouragement.
"Not in a million years, Jane."
The grin doesn't fade one iota. " Lisbon, you wound me." He spots the pictures on the desk and seizes them.
He begins to flip through them but pauses.
"Oh I like this one," he says. "Tells a story, don't you think?"
He holds it up. It's the picture of the two of us fighting.
"Yes," I agree flatly. "The story of my epic struggle against your insanity."
He chuckles. "Feisty this morning," he observes. "Missed your breakfast cappuccino?"
I grunt, and he goes back to the photographs. There is silence for a few minutes.
"May I keep this one?" he asks, presently.
He's showing me one that I haven't noticed before. It's a photo of me, out on the balcony at the benefit. I'm looking out towards the city skyline, instead of the camera. It's not a bad picture, actually, I note with some surprise.
But wait a minute. I don't remember posing for this one. I tell Jane so.
"Of course you don't," he says. "I took it without you knowing."
All of a sudden, the grin is gone. He actually looks nervous.
What the hell is going on here?
"The moonlight was very becoming on you." He's so quiet I have to strain to hear him. "It deserved to be immortalized on film."
I don't have a clue how I'm supposed to respond to this. I'm speechless.
"May I keep it?" he asks again.
My head nods of it's own accord. He gets up to leave.
"Why?" I manage to splutter out, just as he's about to disappear out the door. He turns around. Walks over to where I'm sitting. Offers me his hand. I accept it, and allow him to help me out of my chair so I'm at his level.
Big mistake. He's too close. Much too close. I can feel his breath on my neck. It's a pleasant sensation.
Slowly, he raises a hand and brushes a stray lock of hair off my face. His fingers graze my cheek and linger there.
"You're very beautiful Lisbon," he says. "Didn't anyone ever tell you that?"
I can't breathe. I can't think. It's like someone suddenly hit the 'pause' button on my life and I never, ever want it to 'play' again if it means I can stay in this moment.
Before I can manage to breathe normally again, he is gone, and has taken the photo with him.
Did that really just happen?
I sink back into my chair, trying to process the interaction that has just taken place. My skin still feels warm where he touched me. My heart's beating so fast it feels like it's about to explode out of my chest.
It's Van Pelt.
"Got a call. There's a body been found in Sausalito."
I nod. "Tell everyone to get ready. Meet at the car in five minutes."
Three minutes for me to pull myself together, two to grab my stuff and get to the car.
I watch her go to where Jane is feigning sleep on his couch and shake him. They converse briefly, before she goes to find Rigsby and Cho. He sits up, rubbing his eyes in an unconvincing show of drowsiness. He notices me watching him. He waves at me. Winks.
My heart leaps.
I won't give in to this. I won't.
"Jane!" I bark at him, coming out of my office. "Get a move on!"
He gets to his feet and mock-salutes me. "Right away ma'am." He wanders over to the elevator and holds the door open for me.
It's just the two of us alone with nothing but the cheerful elevator music to break the silence. Jane hums along with the irritating melody while I try to think of ways to murder him without creating any mess or noise. It's safer then thinking about that moment.
His hand brushes mine and I ignore the tingling sensation it creates.
"I meant what I said, you know," he says to me. "You're much more beautiful then you realize."
Before I can say anything, the doors open and I can see the others through the window, standing by the car.
Jane smiles at me and goes to join them. I sigh.
It's going to be a long day.