Patrick walked into the CBI office with a large cardboard box in his arms.
Lisbon looked up and stared. Rigsby glanced over, caught sight of it, and smacked Cho in the arm. Van Pelt sensed the sudden pause in routine and was the last to look up.
Four pairs of eyes followed the consultant to the couch, where he carefully set the box on the ground and took his usual position. Lying on his back, he clasped his hands over his chest and closed his eyes, sighing.
Everyone was still silent.
"What is it?" Patrick finally asked. "Just because I walked in is no cause to halt work. Continue, by all means."
"What's in the box?" Rigsby called, voicing the thought on everyone's mind.
"Nothing that concerns any of you."
Glances were exchanged and Lisbon rolled her eyes. "Get back to work." The team resumed their tasks.
A few minutes later, Rigsby discreetly took a trip to the kitchen and back. He paused at Patrick's couch. "So what is in the box?"
The consultant didn't even open his eyes. "Why do you care?"
Rigsby laughed once. "You can't just…walk in here with something like that and not expect people to be curious."
"I never said I didn't expect you to be curious. I just said it didn't concern you. It's none of your business."
"Come on, man, just tell me. I won't tell anyone else."
"I'll give you a hint."
Rigsby perked up.
He furrowed his brow and walked on, murmuring to himself. "Shiny."
About an hour after that, Van Pelt passed by on her way to the copy machine. "What is it, Jane?"
"What is what?" Patrick wondered.
"What do you have in the box?"
He opened one eye. "Nothing."
"Well then why did you bring it in?" she laughed.
"I don't know," Patrick shrugged.
"Jane, what's really in it?"
"Would you like a hint?"
"It's colorful," Patrick said.
Van Pelt thoughtfully continued on her way.
During the team's lunch break, Cho slowly walked to the couch. Patrick was now on his side, and he looked up at the agent as he approached. "Let me guess."
"If you just told everyone you wouldn't have to guess."
"I don't have to guess anyway," Patrick said. "You already know by now that I can't tell you what it is."
"Why not?" Cho said quickly.
"Because. I can, however, give you a clue. It's about the size of an alarm clock."
"An alarm clock?"
"Yes. You know…glowy, tells time, obnoxious—"
"I know what an alarm clock is."
"Just making sure," Patrick said defensively.
Cho walked away, shaking his head.
Most of the rest of the day passed with Patrick still on the couch and the entire team mulling over Jane's mysterious box. Lisbon avoided walking past the consultant as much as possible, but finally her curiosity got the best of her and she too came over to ask him the million-dollar question.
"Okay, Jane. What do you have in the box?"
Patrick scrutinized her, hands on her hips and a thoroughly unamused expression on her face. "You know, this entire day, no one has asked me nicely. Not a single 'please'."
She narrowed her eyes.
He sighed. "Alright, alright. Want a clue?"
A mischievous look appeared in his eye. "It's alive."
Lisbon stared at him. Inconspicuously he nudged the box with his foot and it moved. Lisbon jumped and he grinned.
At the end of the day, Patrick picked up his cardboard box and carried it dutifully back to his car. He placed it on the passenger's seat and climbed in, driving mysteriously off.
Chuckling to himself, he stopped at a large recycling bin on the way home and tossed the empty box inside, his chaos of the day accomplished.