She was sleeping with someone.
He'd picked up on it last week, the hint of a man's aftershave, the echo of a smile on her face that she couldn't hide completely when schooling herself into office mode. She was very good at hiding it but Patrick was very good at seeing things.
It was a little more obvious today.
Not to the rest of the team, Cho had noted something but he could tell that the other man didn't know what it was exactly. Just a vague sense of something ever so slightly different about their boss.
Jane could see the differences clearly. The extra bounce in her step and her hair, the lipstick a touch of a shade brighter, the smile lasting a little longer.
It was subtle but he noticed.
How could he not? He noticed everything about everything and Lisbon was in his inner circuit, in his immediate orbit, and he knew more about her than anyone alive.
She was sleeping with someone.
He didn't know who, but that would come in time, but more importantly, he didn't know how he felt about it.
She wasn't any less focused on the job, she was working as hard as ever, too hard, with the usual determination. It wasn't like he had to worry about her not putting everything she had into her work, but there was still something that bugged him. Like when he could sense he'd found an important piece of a puzzle but wasn't sure where to fit it.
He smiled at her, and her glare narrowed a little. Lisbon often let him stare, possibly because it meant he was behaving, or because she liked the attention. He wasn't sure which yet, but he did know she had a maximum amount of time that she could stand his attention for.
"What?" she repeated, more snap in her voice this time, but less than usual for the situation.
"Who is he?" he asked.
"Who is who?" Lisbon asked.
She frowned, and Jane had no idea she was such a good actress at times. The blush gave her away though, and made her look very pretty combined with the brighter shade of lipstick and the bouncy hair.
"Stop staring," she said, flushing a little more with anger, and he simply smiled at her.
She wouldn't deny it forever, not to him, he would keep picking at her until she caved, angrily, but in private. Then he would have another secret of hers to play with in his mind.
He wanted to know everything there was about Teresa Lisbon. Especially whether she was in love, or just enjoying some good sex.
And of course the niggle of something else.
She was wearing a skirt.
He'd seen her in a dress at the odd function, but in a skirt, at the office, that was new.
Pretty, she was very pretty, and he needed to know who this guy was.
He was a man hurt beyond belief, missed his wife and daughter like they were limbs, vital parts of him, thought about only revenge before he felt like he could ever really have a chance of moving on from the tragedy, if at all.
Sometimes, sometimes he thought about Lisbon though.
Right now he was thinking about Lisbon and the little puzzle she had presented him.
Everyone noticed she was wearing a skirt, which was ridiculous, it wasn't even a very short or tight skirt. Just your average black business skirt. But everyone watched as she made her way through the building and into her office. Cho noticed, and smiled to himself, his earlier indications of change falling into place for him. Rigsby stared, and Van Pelt gave him a little glare of hot jealousy.
Jane grinned at the scene, then got up off his sofa to go talk to her. She was at his desk, lower half completely hidden, and looked completely normal.
This was fun.
"You're wearing a skirt," he said.
"Yes," she replied, not looking up from her paperwork. "I've worn skirts before."
"Not to work."
"We don't have a case, and I have a change of clothes if I really need it."
He nodded, but she still wasn't looking at him to see it. He looked around and out of her office to see a couple of people whispering, and pointing at the office.
"You've created quite a stir."
"Why? It's just a skirt."
"Oh, I agree, the more important issue is the reason why you're wearing a skirt."
"It's California, and summer," she said, still not looking up, though, he could see the tension in her neck from holding the position and resisting the urge to look at him. "I have to have a reason other than that?" she continued.
"No, I guess not, but there is another reason."
She finally turned a page in the file, and took a pen, all the while pretending not to be interested in him or the conversation.
"What's his name?" he asked.
"The guy you're sleeping with."
She looked up then. Slowly, not quickly, and glared at him, rather than show surprise, if there was any to have. Lisbon picked up on the little details as much as he did sometimes, she knew that he knew, and had done from the very beginning.
"It's none of your business," she said.
She was angry, her words a snap that looked like they hurt to say them from the venom she tried to portray and he wondered why. He'd poked his nose into her private life plenty of times before and had received more favourable reactions.
"It's not someone here at the office," he deduced out loud.
"No," she snapped.
"So who is he?" he asked. "He must be a local, because it started five weeks ago, and we were all in town."
"How did you-" she started, then stopped, dropping her head into her hands for a moment, her new extra bouncy hair falling forward, before she sat back in her chair and looked at him.
"And it's serious enough for the job not to have gotten in the way, and he compliments you heavily."
"How could you possibly know that?" she laughed.
"Made you brave enough to wear a skirt today."
"I'm not scared to wear a skirt to the office Jane."
"No, but you don't like the gossip, today though, today you woke up, after another night with this mystery man, he told you how beautiful you are, which of course, you are, and you decided the gossip was worth a day in a skirt, because you only had paperwork to do."
"That's- that's-" she stuttered. "You think I'm beautiful."
"It's not a matter of opinion Lisbon, it's a fact, you are beautiful," he said, trying to be as detached as possible because the niggle was back, squirming around in his chest and he needed to focus on getting the information he wanted.
"Oh," she said, blushing bright red. "Do you have an opinion?" she asked quietly.
"Does mystery man have a name? A job?"
"Don't do that," she said. "Don't answer my questions with questions, you know that bugs me."
"Not knowing who you're sleeping with is bugging me."
There was the beginnings of a smile on her face, the dangerous one that amused and amazed him, but wasn't sure how he felt about having it directed at him, instead of some suspect about to be pulled apart by her interrogation.
"I like to know everything. You know that."
"Maybe," she said, the smile growing, "but I think there's something more."
She was right, he couldn't deny it, but he wasn't actually sure he knew what it was.
"Are you going to tell me?" she asked.
"Are you going to tell me?" he replied, the disappearing and the glare coming back.
They stared each other down for a moment.
Until she cracked.
"Jane, get out, I have work to do."
He smiled and stood up.
"I do have an opinion," he said at the door to the office. "But I don't want your ego to get too big, and you're getting enough compliments at home right?"
He left the office, a scrunched up piece of paper following after.
She brought him to the office.
Well, she didn't exactly bring him. Jane watched from where he was sitting next to Cho's desk, as she returned two minutes after leaving for lunch, to retrieve her forgotten phone. He watched as a blonde man walked into her office and put a hand on the small of her back, smoothing it up her spine. She stood up and turned around, smiling for a mere second before getting annoyed.
She'd told him to stay downstairs.
It wasn't her lips that told Jane that, just her glare, and the embarrassed blush.
Jane jumped up from where he was sitting, startling Cho.
"Where are you going?" he asked. "Lisbon wants your evidence finished by time she comes back from lunch."
"I know, but that was probably just to keep me occupied while she was with her boyfriend."
"How do you know that?"
He pointed to Lisbon's office, where she was still looking for her phone, the blonde man now helping. Cho remained at his desk as Jane went straight into her office, but turned to face it so he could at least watch through the window.
"Going to introduce me to your boyfriend Lisbon?" he asked.
They both turned around, Lisbon's cheeks burning flame red, her anger focusing on him now. The blonde man smiled at him.
"Lucas, this is Patrick Jane," she said, with a slight growl to her voice, "Jane, meet Lucas Milton."
The two men shook hands, both smiling at each other, and Lisbon looked around the office, looking awkward, rather than for her phone this time.
"Nice to meet you at last," Jane said, slipping his hands back into his pockets. "Lisbon's told us absolutely nothing about you."
"Jane," she hissed.
"Teresa's a private person, I understand that," he said. "She's told me all about you though, and the team."
"You should meet them too," Jane said.
"We don't really have time," Lisbon said, but he ignored her.
"It'll only take a minute," he said, opening the office door for Lucas, "come and meet the team."
He led the blonde out into the bull-pen, Lisbon kicking her heels behind them, boiling up a little, anger radiating from her. It just made Jane grin all the more.
"Who's this?" Cho asked, standing up, face as straight as ever, pretending he had no idea who the man standing between Jane and Lisbon was.
"This is Lucas Milton," Lisbon said, not saying any more.
"Kimball Cho," he replied, shaking the man's hand hard, Jane could see the tension in his muscles as he squeezed the other man's hand. He tried not to laugh.
"And this is Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt," Jane said.
Lucas shook their hands, quickly, then moved to put an arm around Lisbon, who stiffened up in his embrace.
"It's nice to meet you all," Lucas said, "Teresa has told me all about you."
She was a permanent red colour now, and Jane knew she'd be that colour for the rest of the day. And that she and Lucas probably weren't going to get along over lunch.
"As nice as this is," she said, "we have reservations, so we should go."
"Of course," he said, letting her free of his embrace so she could begin to usher him out of the office area.
"Nice to meet you," Van Pelt said.
"Yeah," Rigsby added.
Lucas smiled at them, but Lisbon kept urging him into the corridor.
"Oh, Lisbon," Jane called out as they headed for the lift.
"What?" she snapped, turning around.
He pulled her cell phone from his jacket pocket and handed it to her.
She opened her mouth to say something, possibly yell, but instead snatched the phone from him and turned around.
He went to her apartment that night.
He knew she'd be alone after today's incident. Teresa Lisbon being forced into introducing her boyfriend to her work colleagues was never going to go well. When she came back she had locked herself in the office and had ignored everyone. Rigsby and Van Pelt were scared away with glares, Cho didn't even try.
He spent the afternoon on his sofa, mostly thinking about Lucas Milton, and Teresa Lisbon and the puzzle of why it bugged him so much.
She didn't slam the door in his face, just sighed and went back to her sofa. He shut the door behind him, and stood in the middle of the room, waiting for her to say something.
"He's a fireman," she said.
She didn't reply and he came a little closer.
"It won't last."
"It won't last?"
"He's not good enough for you."
"A life-saving firemen isn't good enough for me."
"Any particular reason Jane, or do you have something against firemen? Or maybe you saw something in the way he walked?"
"Nothing like that."
"If he was good enough for you, you wouldn't be so embarrassed when he met the team," he said. "When he met me."
"I wasn't embarrassed."
"I was a little embarrassed," she admitted, "I don't discuss my private life at work."
"I was thinking that it was because he looked a bit like me."
The shook was genuine, like she really hadn't noticed the similarities between the two of them. The blonde hair, the colour and shape of their eyes, the cut of their chins and cheekbones. Lucas Milton was better built, he had a job that required it, but other than that, it had been a little like looking in the mirror.
"No, no, and I'm not the only one who saw it either."
"Oh God, really?"
"Cho saw it, I could tell. Not sure about Van Pelt or Rigsby, they're too focused on each other."
"Don't say that."
"Sorry, I forgot, we don't talk about Van Pelt and Rigsby," he said. "Can we talk about Lucas Milton."
"No, go home Jane."
She stood up, to face him, to urge him out of her apartment. He didn't budge though, he'd had an epiphany today lying on his couch.
"Do you think I'm, handsome?" he said. "Good looking?"
"I mean, I know I am, but I'm wondering what your opinion is of me?"
"What's your opinion of me?" she asked, putting her hands on her hips.
She was never going to admit anything to him, Jane knew it.
"I believe the best course of action at this juncture is to kiss but I can't predict your reaction and I really don't want you to hit me."
"I'm not going to hit you."
He took a step towards her and she put a hand out to stop him.
"I'm not going to kiss you either."
"A lot of reasons."
He took another step towards her.
"We work together," she tried.
"But I'm not an agent, just a consultant. It's not against the rules."
"Doesn't mean it's a good idea."
"Van Pelt and Rigsby manage quite well."
"I'm going to pretend you didn't say that."
"Fine," he said. "What other reasons to you have?"
"You're struggling now, need some help?" he said. "Like your boyfriend."
"Exactly. I have a boyfriend," she said.
He took the last step and she raised both hands this time, placing them on his chest to push him away.
"Do you want to kiss me?" he asked. "Because I certainly want to kiss you."
"No-" she said, swallowing hard.
"You can't lie to me Teresa," he said smiling.
"You have way too many problems Jane."
"We have way too many problems, but we do okay."
"You're hell-bent on revenge for the murder of your wife and daughter. My problems don't even come close to that!"
He shrugged, leaned forward and kissed her on the lips.
She was sleeping with someone.
A different someone.
The changes were subtle, barely noticeable but he noticed. Of course he noticed. The lipstick returned to it's usual shade, but the bouncy hair stayed. He liked the extra bouncy hair.
Cho noticed, and noticed the little changes in him too, though when he looked in the mirror he couldn't pick them out, but there was something he supposed. Lisbon noticed, sometimes, she smiled at something innocuous and he knew, he'd done something ever so lightly different because he was sleeping with someone.