Hey everybody! Here's my latest work. It's taken me AGES because I was in the middle of writing it when I had to write Secret Santa stuff, and since then I've majorly struggled to get back into it. Not my best work by far, but I thought I'd post it anyway just to see what you guys thought. Hopefully you like it. I don't lol.

HUGE thanks to Taimi, who's my best friend and currently sitting beside after helping me finish it off. Basically, she told me quite honestly which parts sucked so I could fix them. I REALLY needed it lol. So thanks.

Anyways, have a read and I hope you all enjoy it!

Disclaimer: Don't own it. Wish I did, but I don't. Alas.


Lisbon winced as she looked in the mirror. So it did look as painful as it felt. Damn. Deep in thought, she reached for her concealer and began to try and hide the damage.

She had a hickey on her neck, and a dark bruise on her cheek. Physically, so similar in nature, but anybody with half a brain knew that they meant completely different things, and Lisbon shuddered to think of her team's reactions when they saw her. And Jane's. His would be the worst.

The night before, things had taken a turn for the worst with her new ... she hated the term 'boyfriend' but there was no other word for him. Jeffrey. Things had been going well for the first couple of weeks. She'd requested that they take things slowly, and he'd been completely okay with it. And then last night she'd finally decided she trusted him enough to tell him where she lived. She'd invited him over for dinner. She'd made a delicious meal, and been completely flattered by his compliments on her culinary skills during the meal. He'd helped her wash the dishes, and then they'd settled on the couch in front of the television to watch a movie. That was where it all started to go wrong. About half an hour into the movie, he'd turned and kissed her. They'd kissed before and she was okay with it, but this time he tried to take it further. He'd gradually pushed her down so she was leaning against the armrest of the couch, and after kissing her mouth for a while he'd moved down to her neck.

"Slow down, cowboy," she'd said breathlessly, but it was like he hadn't even heard her. She felt him start to slide his hands beneath the hem of her top and she pulled back. "Seriously, Jeff, stop."

It had all happened so terrifyingly fast. She'd barely had time to recognise the flash of anger in his eyes, before her cheek was stinging and her face turned away from him. He'd slapped her. Hard. She closed her eyes as her vision blurred and she tried to adjust to the pain.

"Don't ever tell me to stop, do you hear me? I've waited long enough for this."

He moved forward again, but Lisbon was ready. She'd kicked him out with no small amount of effort, and gone straight to bed. She just wanted to sleep and pretend that it had never happened.

And now it was the next morning, and she was once again doing damage control. She'd been in high school when she'd mastered the art of covering up bruises – she just hoped she hadn't lost her touch. After 20 minutes of rigorously applying make-up, she inspected her reflection and decided it would have to do. You couldn't see the bruises at all, but her cheek was slightly swollen and there was nothing she could do about that except hope that nobody noticed. But she sighed when she considered how improbable it was that nobody notice the swelling, because there was one man on her team who didn't miss a thing, and she had no idea how he would react to this. It couldn't be good.

In the car on the way to work she checked her voicemail and found 3 messages, all from Jeffrey. "Babe, I'm so sorry. Can we talk? I swear it'll never happen again. Call me back, okay?" "Teresa, can you forgive me? Please talk to me. I didn't mean to hurt you. It was an accident! Please call me." "Teresa? I'm gonna come by your place tonight so we can talk, okay? I'll bring dinner. I'm really sorry babe. I'll see you tonight."

She groaned. Didn't he realise that she didn't want to talk? Now she had to see him again. Ugh. This day just kept getting worse and worse.

Upon arrival at the office, she called out a 'hello' to the team, before going into her office and shutting the door. She did not want to give anybody the chance to see her long enough to work out what was happening. She hoped they'd just figure out that she didn't want to be disturbed and leave her alone. She sat at her desk and then closed her eyes in exasperation for a moment when her door suddenly swung open. Of course he would come and find her.

"Hi, Lisbon," he said as he barged through her office door. He didn't even knock for a warning. She sighed.

"What do you want, Jane?" She asked, her tone showing her fatigue and exasperation.

"You to tell me how you got those bruises," he replied, not missing a beat.

She suppressed a flinch as she remembered. She really didn't want Jane to know about this.

"I fell asleep on the couch in front of tv last night. Woke up, got all disoriented and fell off," she said, trying to simultaneously appear embarrassed about the fall and annoyed at his questioning.

"No you didn't. Somebody did that to you."

"Yeah, I-"

"Not you," he cut her off. "Somebody else. A man."

She froze. Trying to keep her expression neutral, she searched her mind desperately for something else to say, some way to convince him of something other than what he'd already figured out was true.

"Lisbon?" He spoke softer now, his voice laced with concern. "What happened?"

"It doesn't matter," she replied in a harsh tone. New tactic - push him away.

He looked stunned at her response. "Of course it matters!" He walked slowly around her desk to stand by her side. "He hurt you," he said quietly and placed his hand on her shoulder.

Instantly, she gasped and jerked away. "Don't touch me."

He was shocked at her reaction. Was that fear? The guy must have really hurt her. She stood up and walked a few steps away from him, trying to regain composure and knowing it was hopeless with him so close.

For a short while, they stood in silence - him looking at her with her back to him. Time seemed to drag on, with no movement or words from either of them, until finally she turned back to face him. Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears as she met his sorrowful expression.

"He's coming back tonight, and I'm gonna tell him it's over and to never come back." And she flung open her office door and rushed away, wanting to be out of sight of everybody.

She ended up in the women's bathroom, feeling childish for hiding there, but also knowing it was the place she'd get the most privacy. There was only one other woman in the Serious Crimes Unit, and she knew Grace would stay away if she asked her to. Jane on the other hand...

She hoped he wouldn't ask her about it again. If he did she was afraid she'd give in and blurt out everything, including how completely and utterly terrified she was about Jeffrey coming back that night. She didn't want him to know. She didn't want any of them to know. She was Senior Agent Lisbon, and she was afraid of nothing.

The first tear spilled down her cheek and she wiped it away angrily. Crying was not an option. She'd learned from hard experience that crying showed weakness, and she couldn't afford to ever show weakness. Suddenly feeling too exhausted to stand, she lifted herself up to sit on the bench next to the basins. Her head shot up when she heard a knock on the door.

"Lisbon? Are you the only one in there?"

Her head slumped down to her chest once more. Why couldn't he just leave it?

The door swung open slowly this time, as if he was hesitant to enter. Good, she thought, let him be out of his comfort zone for once. His footsteps were slow and soft as he approached her, and she didn't move or try to hide her emotions. She was too tired, and although she hated to admit it, she needed someone to lean on.

He stood in front of her, and let his eyes take her in. Feet dangling over the edge of the counter, legs together, arms tight against her sides, leaning forward resting her weight on her hands, head down, hair falling in her face and her eyes downcast. Her cheek was still swollen, and some of the make-up had been washed away by her tears, revealing shades of a dark, angry bruise. She was so beautiful, and he wondered how anyone could possibly bring themselves to hurt her.

He tried to think of something to say, anything, but just as he opened his mouth she spoke.

"I'm scared," she admitted quietly. His heart broke for her. "I don't want to go home because I know I'll have to see him."

Jane couldn't resist the urge to touch her, try to comfort her. He slowly lifted his hand up to her face, softly caressing her unbruised cheek. She gave a soft sigh as she leaned into his touch, surprising both of them with her behaviour.

Unable to help himself, he continued. He leaned forward and rested his forehead against hers. Her eyes were closed and she tried to relax. Jane's touch was different to Jeffrey's. Jeffrey's was vicious, and had left angry, painful marks on her skin. Jane's touch was reassuring, and so gentle. She knew that this man would never hurt her.

She almost whimpered out loud when she felt him move again, but quickly realised he wasn't moving away. He pulled his head slightly away from hers and moved sideways across her face, before moving forward so they were cheek-to-cheek and his lips were by her ear.

"I'll come with you," he breathed.

She trembled as she tried to contain the sobs now threatening to take over. He made her feel safe, and she could hardly bear the thought of leaving right now and returning home to face Jeffrey.

"I'll keep you safe," he continued in a breathy whisper.

She almost came apart as she inhaled his scent on a shuddering breath. Even the smell of him was a comfort to her.

"I'll stay with you."

She took another deep breath of him, finally gaining enough composure to whisper back. "Okay."

The rest of the day seemed to fly by, and all too soon Lisbon was getting ready to go home. It was funny, she thought, how time seemed to do exactly the opposite of what you wanted it to. When you were excited about something it seemed to go so slowly, but when you were dreading something it seemed to speed up. Time was a spiteful creature.

In a desperate attempt to procrastinate, Lisbon found herself tidying her desk when finishing time came. Soon though, she began running out of things to tidy, and when Jane appeared in her office doorway, she knew it was time. She gave him a pleading look.

"Come on," he said in answer to the look, "you know it has to be done. We'll get through this."

Sighing, she grabbed her bag and walked out the door. She was alone with the radio on her drive home, though she could see Jane's Citroen following her in the rearview mirror. Lost in thought, she suddenly found herself putting the handbrake on after parking in the lot underneath her building. Jane followed her up to her apartment and she sighed as she closed the door behind them. She was home.

"So..."

"Make yourself at home. I'm just going to change."

He nodded and she slipped past him to go up the stairs to her bedroom.

After 20 minutes passed and she hadn't returned, he began to worry. He hesitated at the bottom of the stairs, before making a decision and walking up. He'd never been up here in her apartment before, but there were 3 doors along the hallway and some instinct of his told him hers would be the last. Lisbon was very protective of herself, even when she didn't mean to be, and that aspect of her personality came through in small, subconscious decisions - like which bedroom she chose.

The door was closed, and he only hesitated for a moment before knocking.

"Can I come in?" He asked tentatively.

"No," she replied. He took a deep breath. This was going to be hard.

"Are you decent?" He asked. It was a better way to ask what he wanted to know. If she wasn't dressed then he wouldn't barge into her room, but if she only said no because she was embarrassed about her emotions ... well, he wanted to be there for her.

She sighed, and he knew she saw straight through to his true intentions. "Yes," she answered in a much quieter voice.

He slowly pushed the door open, preparing to see Lisbon's bedroom for the first time ever. It was a big, airy room, with white walls and furniture in greens and browns. It had an earthy look, and it felt relaxing and homely.

He only had a moment to appreciate the room though, before the door swung open further and revealed Lisbon. His eyes were drawn to her form immediately. She was sitting on the edge of her bed, with her back to him. He took in her slumped shoulders and how her head seemed to be hanging, and decided to go sit with her. He walked slowly around to her side of the bed and sat down, close enough to her that their legs almost brushed. He took a sideways glance at her, and noticed she was now wearing grey yoga pants and a dark blue tank top. As his gaze moved up to her eyes he noticed how the colour of the top made the green in her eyes look somehow brighter. He was also glad to note that she wasn't crying. She mostly just looked tired. Tired, apprehensive, and a hint of genuine fear in her eyes.

"Are you-"

"When he comes, don't make it obvious that you're here. Just ... hide somewhere. And wait until it's over."

He didn't like that plan one bit. What if she got hurt again? He knew she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but he didn't want the guy to even try. The presence of another man should discourage the guy from trying anything. And by 'presence', he meant gluing himself to Lisbon's side and not moving until the guy had left. No, until about two hours later. He needed to make sure she was okay. No, until tomorrow. He shook himself out of that train of thought. If he had his way, he'd never leave her side.

"But Lisbon, what if-"

"I can handle it. All I need you to do, is just stay hidden until he's gone. I don't think he'll take too kindly to the presence of another man as soon as he enters. I'll deal with him, say what needs to be said, he'll leave or I'll kick him out if need be, and then you can come out. I need to do this myself."

He opened his mouth to argue, but thought better of it. She looked so exhausted, and he didn't want to become another thing on her mind. "Okay."

"Thankyou."

They sat in comfortable silence for a few moments, before he opened his mouth again. "Are you scared?"

"A little," she admitted. Just as he was about to reach out and hug her, they heard a knock at her door. She stiffened.

"It's going to be okay."

"Go and hide, Jane."

"You can do this. You'll be fine."

"Stay here. I'll be back when it's over," she said finally, standing up and beginning to move towards the door. He grabbed her arm as he rose to stop her.

"No. I'm not letting you out of my sight. I'll hide if you want me to, but I'm gonna be somewhere I can see you. I won't let you be alone with him."

She stopped, considering him. "I know a place you could use," was all she said before rushing out of the room. She knew he would follow.

He stayed close behind her as she padded lightly and quickly down the stairs and then went silently towards the front door, opening a cupboard next to it which he hadn't even noticed.

"Hide in here. I'm not really planning on letting him inside, so you'll be able to hear everything, but you'll only be able to see me. That okay?" She whispered.

He nodded and stepped in, closing the door most of the way, but leaving a gap large enough that he could see her and the door.

"Hi Jeffrey."

Jane watched as a bunch of roses were held out towards Lisbon.

"Hey Teresa. These are for you. And I brought Italian. I know it's your favourite."

Jane resisted the urge to roll his eyes, knowing that in actual fact Chinese was her favourite. He chose instead to focus on Lisbon and her reactions to all of this. She looked tense, and she didn't take the roses.

"Jeffrey... look, I appreciate the effort you've obviously gone to, but-"

"You're not even gonna invite me in?"

"Jeffrey, I-"

"Look," he pushed past her into her apartment and she shut the door. "I'm really sorry, Teresa. I don't know what came over me, but I swear it'll never happen again."

"You can't guarantee that, Jeffrey. I'm a cop, I know how it works. Once it starts, in most cases it never really stops. I won't take that risk."

"So... what? Are you saying I'm a liar?"

"No. I'm saying you broke my trust and you won't get it back."

"You mean we're not gonna patch this up? We're not gonna stay together?"

"No."

His voice was getting more and more agitated, and Jane didn't like where it was going. Jeffrey's body language was not friendly. It was tense, angry ... and Jane didn't like his proximity to Lisbon. And how he began slowly moving towards her...

"All because you weren't in the mood to give me what I wanted? What we both wanted, what I deserved?!"

Lisbon felt sick at his initial words, but by the time he finished she couldn't even notice it. She was filled instead by rage.

"Get out," she hissed.

"No. I'll give you one last chance to fix this. You know what to do."

Jane was furious, and on guard for whatever might happen next. He had his suspicions, but he hoped he was wrong.

"No. Get out."

Jeffrey moved so fast she barely had time to get out of his way as he lunged for her. He'd reached out to grab her, but she dodged sideways just in time. Enraged, he whirled around and threw a punch that missed completely when she ducked out of the way. He stumbled slightly and she directed a kick at his stomach, leaving him winded and bent over with his arms around his torso.

"Right. That settles that. You're leaving now." But as she turned to walk back towards the door, she felt a pair of strong hands grasp her hips and send her flying backwards into the wall. Her back and the back of her head hit hard, and she was dazed for a moment. Just long enough for Jeffrey to press the entire length of his body against hers (pinning her to the wall) and push his forearm horizontally against her neck, effectively cutting off her oxygen.

Jane was frozen in the cupboard, trying to will his body to move. He'd watched in horror as the fight broke out. And couldn't believe his eyes when Lisbon was taken by surprise and Jeffrey outmanoeuvred her. Now he was frozen in terror, his mind recoiling and refusing to accept that he could see Lisbon, his Teresa, struggling to fight and breathe on the opposite side of the room. He desperately willed himself to move. He was Patrick Jane and he did NOT freeze. Teresa needed him.

Lisbon was starting to get spots in her vision, and she was terrified. She was struggling her hardest, but it wasn't enough. Suddenly, just when she began to fear that it was all over, Jane came charging out of nowhere with a fury on his face that she'd never seen before. He ran over to them, and with a strength neither of them knew he possessed, grabbed Jeffrey's shoulders and ripped him off her, sending him flying to the floor.

"Get off her!" Jane roared, taking a defensive stance in front of Lisbon. He could hear her spluttering and gasping for breath behind him, but he didn't dare take his eyes off Jeffrey. "You okay?" He said over his shoulder. He was unsure of what to do, knowing that Lisbon had said she needed to fix the situation herself, but also knowing that she was hurt and entirely not okay at the moment. She seemed to sense his indecision though.

"Get him out of here, Jane. Please."

He'd never heard her sound so weak before, but he wasn't about to disobey her. He bent down and roughly jerked Jeffrey to his feet.

"Wait," he heard her say. "Turn him around for a second. I need to say something."

Jane turned around, and dragged Jeffrey around to face her. One look at her, and Jane knew she was still struggling for breath and struggling to hold back tears. But there was fire in her eyes as well, and when she looked at Jeffrey, hatred burned in them.

"Don't ever come back here. You will never come near me again. You will never touch me again. You will never speak to me again. You are a disgusting lowlife and you mean nothing to me." She glared at him for a few moments before deciding that what she'd said was enough. "Now get the hell out."

Jane took that as his cue, and pushed and shoved Jeffrey back to the front door. He opened it with one hand, while keeping a tight hold on Jeffrey with the other. But just before he kicked him out, Jane had some parting words of his own. He pulled Jeffrey back closer to him and murmured in his ear; "if you ever come near her again, I'll kill you." His voice was dead calm and neither of them had a doubt that Jane would follow through on his threat if required. And then Jane pushed Jeffrey out into the corridor and shut, locked and put the chain on the door behind him. He sighed with relief as he heard footsteps fade away, and turned to focus his energies on Lisbon. She was leaning against the opposite wall, her eyes closed and taking deep, even breaths. He walked slowly back towards her, until he was only standing a few feet away.

"Teresa? Are you okay?"

She didn't change her stance or say anything, she just nodded. She hadn't even opened her eyes yet.

"Are you sure? Open your eyes. Look at me." He couldn't be sure until he looked in her eyes, but she showed her refusal by mutely shaking her head.

"Please, Teresa?"

"Thankyou for your help, Jane. You can leave now."

He was shocked for a moment, but the slight tremor in her voice gave her away. He quickly realised she was trying to shut him out – she'd already shown him so much of herself, and she didn't want him to see her vulnerable any longer.

"No, Teresa. I'm not gonna leave so you can fall apart behind closed doors. I won't let you. I'm going to be here. Don't hide from me. Please."

For a fleeting moment he saw her face crumple, before both her hands covered it and she was sliding down the wall. He rushed forward to catch her and pulled her into his arms, supporting her weight as she cried.

Lisbon stayed tense in Jane's arms at first, fighting her mind's irrational urge to push him away to keep him from hurting her. She knew Jane would never hurt her, and she battled her instincts for a few moments, until she managed to make herself relax in his hold. She didn't wrap her arms around him in return, instead keeping her hands on her face to hide the tears now steadily falling. She knew she had every reason to cry, and that Jane wouldn't think any less of her for it, but for some reason she was embarrassed to be crying in front of him.

"Don't be ashamed, Teresa. When you're Agent Lisbon you're always strong and ready for anything anybody can throw at you, but here you're Teresa, and as Teresa you were hurt. It's okay to cry. I'm here. Just let go."

And all of a sudden she was sobbing, and he was holding her tighter, and she took her hands off her face to wrap her arms around his neck and bury her face in his shoulder.

"Patrick-" His name left her lips in an anguished cry, as she sobbed so hard it hurt.

"Shh, Teresa. You're safe now. Everything's going to be alright." He whispered to her over and over again, rubbing her back soothingly. It only took a few minutes for her to bring herself back under control again. Her sobbing died down to simple tears, but she was now trembling as well.

"Patrick?" He heard her mumble against his shoulder.

"Yes?"

"I want to go to bed. Will you come with me? Just to stay with me? Please?"

"Of course." He pressed a kiss into her hair and the tenderness of the action brought forth another sob from her.

She began to unwrap her arms from his neck, but he refused to part with her even for a moment. He chose instead to bend down and sweep her feet out from under her, allowing her to bury her face in his neck once more while he carried her up the stairs. He walked along the hall and into her bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him because he knew how the closed door would make her feel even more secure.

And he was going to do anything he could to make her stop hurting.

He walked over to her bed and slowly lowered her down on top of it, letting go of her momentarily while she climbed under the sheets and he removed his shoes and jacket. As soon as he was done, he pulled back the covers and slipped into the bed next to her. He didn't want to leave her alone for even a moment, afraid that she'd start to shut him out. If he was holding her in his arms, he knew she couldn't.

He rolled onto his side to face her, and met her eyes across the bed from him. They were wide and innocent, with unshed tears shining in them, and a hesitance he was sure came from her desire to be held and her inability to ask for it. Teresa Lisbon never asked for anything, and it didn't go unappreciated that she'd asked him for this. He was grateful and amazed that she trusted him so much, and he knew he'd never take it for granted.

"Teresa? Sweetheart, what do you want?"

He tried to make it easier for her, but she still didn't say anything. So he took a guess. He slowly, so as not to startle or frighten her, inched his way towards her until he was in the centre of the bed, and then reached out with his arms and gently pulled her towards him. She wanted to be held, and he wanted to make her feel safe. He was not going to let go until he was 100% sure she was okay.

He wrapped his arms around her waist, and tangled his legs with hers as she tucked her head under his chin. She let out a shuddering sigh, and he felt his shirt become slightly damp as more tears fell. She cried silently as he held her tightly against him and whispered to her.

"It's going to be okay. I'm here. I won't let anybody hurt you again. It's okay. You're okay."

"Patrick?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm glad you're here," she said quietly, reaching up to press a soft kiss to his cheek, before burrowing back into him again and relaxing.


Please review and let me know what you thought. Hopefully you don't think it sucked as badly as I thought it did :P