Another Secret Santa gift for shoppingluva91

A little bit of feelgood Xmas fluff.

It was a very sad state of affairs in which Lisbon found herself on Christmas Eve. Her team had left for the night in high spirits, all with plans to share their Christmas with loved ones. With all her brothers busy this year, visiting in-laws and whatnot, Lisbon had consigned herself to a solitary celebration.

She put on a happy face as her team left. "Merry Christmas, boss!" they'd all cried as they hustled out the door smiling (except for Cho.)

Even Jane was gone. Christmas must be a difficult time for him, she supposed and he had certainly seemed a little less talkative today. Of course that could just as easily be because he was busy working on some scheme that she wasn't yet privy to. Whatever it was, she hoped he could keep it to himself until the holidays were over. She couldn't handle the stress right now.

She stayed well into the night and when she finally began the drive home, she admired the twinkling Christmas lights that adorned the houses as she passed them. It was one of her favourite things about Christmas and one of the few good memories of her childhood. Every year her family would all dress warmly and take a walk around the neighbourhood where they would spend hours looking at all the festive displays. Then when they were all so sleepy they were having trouble walking straight they would go home where their mother would fix them all a cup of hot chocolate before they went to bed.

She smiled at the memory.

She let herself into her apartment and poured herself a glass of wine. There was a knock on the door. She was confused. Who would be dropping by this late on Christmas Eve?

When she opened it there was no one there. She looked down to see several items sitting just outside the door.

The first was an enormous bouquet of Christmas roses, arranged prettily in a vase.

The second was a small flat box.

The third, an envelope.

She picked up the envelope. Lisbon it read in vaguely familiar handwriting.

She ripped open the paper to reveal a Christmas card with a beautifully drawn Nativity scene on it.

My dear Lisbon,

Merry Christmas!

I hope you like your presents.

Love, Jane.

She lifted the lid on the box to reveal a thin silver bracelet, feather-light and delicate. It was just the kind of thing she liked, simple and understated rather then the ostentatious jewellery he'd bought for her in Vegas.

Not to mention the fact that it probably hadn't cost the equivalent of the gross national product of a small country.

She fumbled with the clasp.

"Need some help?"

The sound of Jane's voice made her jump and the bracelet slipped through her fingers and landed silently on the floor.

"Don't do that!" she scolded him. "You nearly gave me a heart attack."

"Sorry." He grinned apologetically. "I picked that out for you the other day. Do you like it?"

"It's beautiful. I love it." She knelt to rescue it from where it had fallen.

"Good. Then promise you won't give it back this time."

She chuckled "Jane…"

"Promise. No returning it to the store in the dead of night."

"OK, OK. I promise."

He took it from her and attached it securely around her wrist. "Looks lovely on you."

"Thank you, but you didn't need to give me a present."

"That's not all."

She looked at him with puzzlement.

"Read the rest of the card," he said.

When she looked at it again she saw a postscript she hadn't seen before.

Look up.

She obeyed, to see a sprig of mistletoe attached to the top of the doorframe.

"Jane, what the hell?"

He took advantage of her distraction and closed the gap between them, getting as close to her as he dared.

"Jane, I…" she tried again. He put a finger to her lips to silence her.

"When this is over, you can slap me, fire me, do whatever you want but for now, just be quiet."

"I can't."

The playful smile she saw so often at work slowly crept onto his face.

"Relax Lisbon. We're just observing tradition."

She didn't have any answer for that and was distracted from coming up with one when he gently pulled her towards him and gave her a soft, light kiss.

It might have been OK, had she not reciprocated.

To her horror, she found herself kissing him back. Somehow, her arms had curled around the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her and the kiss that had began as soft and gentle became considerably less so. It got to the point where it was less a simple kiss then what could only be described as making out.

Making out. With Patrick Jane.

She couldn't deny that the pleasure she was feeling far outweighed her misgivings, but that didn't make their little tryst any less wrong. So she mustered up what was left of her common sense and broke it off.

Jane noted that she didn't pull away from his embrace, however. He closed his eyes, bracing himself.

"What are you doing?" she demanded of him.

"Waiting to get slapped. Or shot."

"Why did you do that?"

"Probably for the same reason you let me."

"Which is?"

He shrugged. "Because it's Christmas."

"I'm not a charity case, Jane. I'm fine."

"Are you? I know for a fact that you were planning on spending the holidays alone."

"So? My brothers are busy."

"I just thought you might appreciate some company. It's terrible to be by yourself at this time of year."

"I'd have survived."

"Is it so wrong for me to want to spend time with someone I care about and try to make her happy?"

She blushed. "No. It's actually kind of sweet," she admitted.

He looked at the silver bracelet hanging on her wrist. "You know why I chose this for you?"

She shook her head.

"Because it's absolutely beautiful and it seems delicate, but it's a lot stronger then it looks. Just like you."

She smiled at him. "Thanks. I really do love it."

"I'm glad." He leant forward to kiss her cheek. "Merry Christmas, Teresa."

"Merry Christmas, Patrick."

There was a silent moment as each wondered what to do next.

"Well, I've intruded on your peace for long enough," he said, eventually. "I'll leave you alone now. See you next week."

He turned to go.

"Wait! I was just going to watch some Christmas movies. Want to join me?"

"You sure?"

"No point us both being miserable alone when we can be happier together."

"I agree."

She opened the door wide and he followed her into her apartment.

And so they spent the rest of the night in front of the television, until Lisbon fell asleep. Her head had ended up on Jane's shoulder at some point and he didn't like to move her in case she should wake up.

The bracelet he'd given her flashed in the lamplight as she shifted position, mumbling something indiscernible.

He grinned. Sleep talking huh? Cute. That information could come in very handy for future blackmailing.

But torture could come later. Right now, he was content to stay right where he was and stroke her hair over and over.

It had been a long time since he had felt this happy at Christmas time. Up till now, it had been a day to lament over all he had lost. But today, it was a celebration of what he had found, chiefly the woman who managed to make him feel things he hadn't felt since his wife.

Happiness, hope, maybe even love.

At least, he had never felt this kind of attachment to somebody for a long time, the want to protect her from harm, the want to get to work as soon as possible in the mornings just to be able to see her.

His world seemed the slightest bit brighter, now that she was in it.

It was certainly something to celebrate.

One Week Later

"That's pretty, boss."

Van Pelt and Lisbon were standing at the coffeemaker and the young agent saw a flash of silver as Lisbon reached for the sugar.

Lisbon had not taken the bracelet off since she had woken up on Christmas Day in the arms of Patrick Jane. When she looked at it, she thought of that night they had shared together, and it made her smile.

Hope you enjoyed it. Happy Christmas, one and all!