Disclaimer: Not mine.
Well, here we have it. My attempt at a multi-chapter Jisbon fic. I was aiming for a longer chapter, but it didn't quite work out that way. I'll try to post new chapters every couple days, however I warn you I'm incredibly busy with softball and school right now. I will try my best. If one person wants me to continue, then I will.
Jane wandered out of Lisbon's office, pondering what she had just said. Could she really believe that? Could she really believe that he didn't care about her or her job? He didn't see her reasoning. He'd screwed up, yes, but to claim he didn't care? That was a little much. If he didn't care, why had he saved her life and sacrificed a new lead in the Red John case? Why did he take time out of every day to make her smile?
He shook his head in frustration. No, he didn't understand one bit. Clearly, he would have to knock some sense into that woman.
In the bullpen, Jane was met with hostility. Cho sent a glare his way, Rigsby pointedly looked away, and Grace ignored him completely. He brushed it off. After all, their reaction wasn't unexpected. As far as they were concerned, the entire thing had been the fault of one of his "escapades", and no one on the team was remotely pleased with the results. Even Jane had to admit the outcome was not ideal.
After all, Hightower had given Lisbon an official reprimand and a promise of employment termination if Jane got so much as another complaint. Which he seemed to get a lot of.
He winced inwardly as he thought of Lisbon's reaction once again.
Lisbon left Hightower's office, frustration pouring off her in waves. The team watched her apprehensively as she approached, and she calmly informed them of the situation. Her eyes betrayed her temper, however, and Jane felt rather than saw the glares of the 4 agents being thrown his way.
Lisbon brushed by him with only two words. "Office. Now."
Her words were calm, deceptively so. Jane sighed, he did in fact feel bad. He just hoped he would get a chance to apologize when Lisbon was done with him. She might just allow herself the pleasure of shooting him this time. He followed her sheepishly, and as soon as he had entered, she slammed the door shut none-too-gently.
"Lisbon?" he asked, his voice coming out more like a squeak.
"Please, do tell how this happened. I clearly remember ordering you to stay put. You disobeyed a direct order from me, you embarrassed me and the team, you insulted one of the most powerful men in California and you didn't even catch the killer," she challenged, her eyes flaring up with barely controlled fury.
Jane forced himself not to flinch away from her. He was used to being told off, exasperated banter, and her occasional disbelief, but true anger was new to him.
"I'm sorry, Lisbon. But now I know the boyfriend killed Freya, and if you'll just help me with this idea I had—"
"No, Jane! You don't get another chance, not after this time. You know as well as I do that I'm barely holding on to my job, and for once I need you to let us do our jobs without interfering."
"But he's guilty!" Jane interjected indignantly.
"We know that! We need evidence to hold him on, and any more of your crap will get me thrown out of here," Lisbon snarled.
Jane resisted the temptation to hit something. Didn't she know that this plan was fool proof? Hadn't every time he'd caught the criminal been proof enough for her?
"Look Jane," she said apologetically, and her voice softened slightly. "I know how badly you want justice for the victim's family, but you have to let us do this our way this time. I want to see the bastard locked up as much as you do."
"Obviously not," Jane snapped, and he knew instantly that he'd crossed a line. He wished he had held his tongue, but now that the words were said there was no taking them back. Not even an apology would be able to soothe the nerves his words had hit.
Lisbon stopped dead in her tracks, and she marched up to him, backing him against the wall. "Don't. You. Dare," she hissed. "Do you know how much shit we deal with because of you? I had hoped you would care enough to behave yourself, for my job if nothing else, but clearly you don't."
Jane flinched at her words, mainly because he knew some of them held some truth. Lisbon backed away from him, looking all of a sudden very tired. He followed her to her desk, and he watched in concern as she dropped her head into her hands, fingers attempting to massage away the oncoming headache. He felt another wave of guilt wash over him as he observed the woman in front of him. He'd been so preoccupied recently that he hadn't had the chance to check in on Lisbon's well-being as often as he would have liked, and she could have used the check-up this time. Come to think of it, Hightower's ultimatum had been stressing her to no end recently. Jane himself had never taken her threat too seriously, but Lisbon didn't share his optimism. And after today's events, she probably had good reason to be cautious. Jane still didn't believe that her job was in serious danger, but he couldn't blame her for not wanting to take any chances.
"Lisbon? Are you—"
"Just go, Jane," she asked quietly, and Jane couldn't bring himself to deny her request.
Now, sitting on his couch, Jane thought. He knew that Freya's boyfriend, Mark, hadn't been foolish enough to leave any condemning clues behind, but he also knew that Lisbon would never forgive him if he interfered with the investigation again, seeing as her job was on the proverbial chopping block. And, as much as he wanted justice, he realized that he couldn't bend Lisbon's trust anymore than he already had. It hung by such a thin thread in the first place.
He had always known that if push came to shove, he would never intentionally risk her job. But not being willing to lose her trust, her respect? He had done it before, what was different this time?
This was a new revelation.
How had this happened? When had petite, feisty Teresa Lisbon started having this effect on him? He was a broken man, hell-bent on revenge and nothing was going to stand in his way.
If he had thought the same thing one week ago, Jane wouldn't have had a single doubt. Now, a distraction by the name of Lisbon kept floating to the front of his mind, unbidden but definitely not unwelcome.
Why on Earth was this happening? Had his cautious friendship with Lisbon somehow morphed into something else? As Jane mulled over several key events of the past year, he concluded that something must have shifted. The flirting was more frequent, they were more comfortable with each other, hell, they had even danced not too long ago.
Jane could only come to one logical conclusion. He was in love with Teresa Lisbon.
The epiphany shocked him.
How had he fallen in love again? How had Lisbon slipped through his defences like that? And, more importantly, how had he not realized it until now?
Care to tell me what you think so far? I'll love you for it.