The ride in the car was shockingly devoid of conversation; no bickering, no teasing, and certainly not a single mention of what they were presumably going to do. A glance now and then, as if daring the other to bring it up… a game of chicken, really. Who would be the first to call the other's bluff? How far would they let this go?
By the time they got to her apartment, she hated him a little bit more than she usually did.
She was angry he didn't run away like he was supposed to.
She was furious at her own inability to put a stop to this madness.
She was turned on as all hell.
His angle was a mystery to her. She didn't understand why this, why now; was it another attempt to manipulate her, somehow? Use her?
Of course, you can't get used, if you are the first to do the using. Or you can, but it doesn't feel so bad; there's a strange sense of satisfaction, manipulating the manipulator. It was a sense that she imagined Jane felt every damn day of his life, one that was so powerful and just so damn useful that he'd forgotten how to be any other way.
Jane, however, you could almost forgive; he used his gift for manipulation to protect himself, and didn't he, of all people, have an excellent reason to protect himself? Losing a wife and daughter to a serial killer whom he had baited… a man's psyche could only handle so much trauma.
What was Teresa Lisbon's excuse, right now? She didn't need a one-up on Jane; she was already the boss, the one with the final say (even if he so frequently, infuriatingly didn't listen to it). She certainly didn't need to boost her ego, or his.
What she needed, she decided, was a simple fuck into oblivion. Making it more or less than that was a mistake. For either of them.
In that spirit, she faced him and pulled her shirt over her head, tossing it aside carelessly and flicking open her bra with equal irreverence.
He didn't look shocked, exactly; she wasn't sure she had ever seen Jane truly shocked, so it was possible she just didn't know what it looked like. But his lips parted, almost imperceptibly, and his eyes turned glassy. And he stared. Her nipples turned turgid under the air of the room and the caress of his gaze.
The room fell so quiet she could hear the tick of the clock on the wall, mocking her with a steady rhythm that stood in stark contrast with the fluttering of her heart.
"You're so small," he murmured, gaze sliding intently up and down. Always intently.
The burst of boldness that had driven her impromptu stripping seemed to drain away as fast as it came on. She resisted the urge to cross protective arms across her chest. "Thanks." The word dripped with sarcasm. God, why was she doing this? Surely it hadn't been so long for him, that he'd forgotten it was inappropriate to point out how small a woman's breasts were.
His eyes stopped their journey at her tone, met hers. "No, I like it. It's just… the person you are, it tricks the mind. As strong as you appear, your smallness feels surprising. A nice surprise." A whisper of a smile came across his lips for a second, as he referenced their earlier conversation. "The contrast is… quite exquisite."
She'd been told similar things before… that she acted taller, bigger, tougher than she appeared. And it was true; you didn't get to be a respected cop by acting like a little girl. Still, Jane's observation felt so very personal, and she almost wished for the casual detachment from him with which he regarded evidence in their cases.
Hell, who was she kidding. There was no 'almost' about it. Not when she was doing what she was doing.
"I don't really care what you think of my body, as long as you can finish this," she said. Intimacy countered with coldness. A reminder of exactly where they stood.
"I'm sorry I hurt your feelings."
"You didn't hurt me." She immediately resisted the notion.
He shook his head. "Stop it, Lisbon. If you wanted sex where feelings didn't matter, you could have easily found it. At a bar, on the internet. Even at work. You're doing this because I give a damn. It's not the only reason, but it's part of it."
"I'm doing this because it's easy." She knew how ridiculous the words were, before they even her mouth.
"Easy? I'm easy?" The words were incredulous, as they should have been.
She tried, one more time. "You're here. That makes you easier than anyone else."
She expected more protest, and she looked forward to it; bickering with him was comfortable, and familiar, and she could certainly handle it, half-naked or no. But instead he reached out, those big, magical hands first spanning her waist, then trailing slowly up her ribcage until his thumbs brushed the bottoms of her breasts.
The oxygen left the room, and she took a harsh breath, trying to bring it back. His eyes flicked to hers at the sound, assessing, and a slow smile that was part angel and part sin touched his lips at the same second as he stroked her nipples. "Yes. I am here."
She hadn't been close enough to anybody in such a long time, to be touched there, like that. It brought forth a torrent of sexual sensation that had so far stayed bubbling under the surface, and with a moan she surrendered to it, grabbing his arms and yanking him to her a little harder than she had to.
If he were surprised, it didn't show; he let himself be pulled by her, into her kiss. Their kiss. There was no pretense of gentle exploration or tenderness, just the hot and wet and urgent tangle of tongues and sliding of lips and holy mother of all things good she was making out with Patrick Jane, struggling clumsily to liberate him from his vest and shirt at the same time and not being very successful but it couldn't be helped because she couldn't stop. She might have been frightened by the train-wreck intensity that was driving her, if she was in any way capable of thinking of anything beyond the taste of him, and the way his solid chest pressed against her bare breasts, and the nearly effortless way he waltzed her toward the staircase as if this were his place, and he knew the layout by heart.
Satisfyingly, though, his logic seemed to be somewhat impaired as well; he was alternately trying to stroke her skin and get in her pants, oblivious to the fact that a woman with pants around her knees was not going to move very effectively. Still, she approved of the goal, and helped him as much as she could without actually having to stop kissing him.
His fingers on her skin were driving her crazy, and now that she decided this was going to happen she wanted it to happen in a hurry. They were halfway up the stairs when she stumbled, landing on her ass. The ache that resulted reminded her that she hadn't really completely recovered from her earlier activities, no matter how much Jane's magic touch made it seem so. She winced, and when he grabbed her to haul her back up, she pulled him down instead. His knees would probably bruise where they hit the stair. Right now, she didn't particularly care.
He cursed softly, but seemed to appreciate that giving up on walking meant he could get her clothes off faster. Now, he pulled her pants the rest of the way off, leaving her naked on the staircase for perhaps the first time in her history of living in this place. She herself had been so far less successful in undressing him, only managing to get rid of his vest, and unbuttoning his shirt half the way.
Then his mouth fell to her chest, pressing hot, open-mouthed kisses down the slope of her breasts, tongue tracing her pebbled nipples until she was gasping and clutching his hair, and she found that at least momentarily, getting him naked could wait.
He murmured against her skin between kisses. "You taste like Satsuma and honey. It's lovely."
She didn't need him to talk right now. She grabbed his head, sunk her fingers into his curls and pushed his face down her body. He went willingly, nipping at the flesh of her lower belly, fingers dancing lightly on the inside of her thighs.
Had she ever felt this crazed by sex before, reason so obliterated by sensation that she couldn't even make it to her next sentence, let alone to her bedroom? Or was it not the sex she was crazed by, but this man, who had never failed to drive her crazy but had never directed his energy towards her, quite like this? Whatever the case, her eyes slammed shut when his skillful tongue darted out for a long lick between her legs, ending at her clit where he made maddening circles that strummed her into impossible arousal. She didn't want to know it was him who was making her feel this way, and she threw an arm over her eyes even as she began bucking towards his lips.
Then his mouth was gone, and a gentle hand pulled at her wrist. She kept her eyes shut, reached out blindly to try to urge him to continue.
Her name, in that lilting and familiar tone.
"What?" She finally opened her eyes to glare at him, him with his hair ruffled from her pulling, his lips damp with her own arousal.
"You're not letting yourself feel this."
She stared in disbelief. "And you are?" she snapped, not needing her motivations questioned, or her feelings. She'd been trying to null and void her feelings.
He was panting slightly, pinning her with his clear gaze. "I assure you that I feel every bit of guilt and conflict that you'd imagine I would. Along with a sense of wonder, excitement, and breathless arousal that you probably wouldn't."
It was practically poetry, and underneath the aggression and rebellion that she held close to her, she felt herself moved; just a little, but she'd been standing still for so long that this felt like the earth was cracking and splitting open underneath her. For just a second, their gaze caught and held. There was a moment of clarity about the man he was, behind the show, behind the ready smile and irreverent disregard of the rules she clung to. She saw immeasurable pain and fear and anger and a million heartbreaking emotions that might have made her want to cry for him if she also didn't see the hope that was there. He might have wanted to believe he was broken behind repair, that revenge was the last thing he lived for. He might believe that he was incapable and unworthy of being loved.
"Jane," she murmured.
His crystalline eyes shone.
And then she remembered that if she was so clearly seeing into the soul of him, he was most certainly seeing into hers.
The part of her that was open snapped shut in an instant.
"Fuck me," she commanded.
His eyes darkened. He gave up fighting her, and maybe for the first time in their relationship, obeyed her order the first time around. His hand went to his buckle, undoing it and his zipper with nimble fingers; his slacks only made it halfway down his ass before they reached for each other in sync. He kneeled two steps down from her, bracing himself to either side of her shoulders; she hung her ass over stair and the position was entirely awkward but it served its purpose and that was all that mattered.
He entered her.
Eyelids fluttering at his first thrust , she lost all awareness of the unforgiving press of the stair's edge against her back and the wood chafing her elbows, instead losing herself in pleasure tinged with the ache of being stretched so far, after such a long while. Fuck, she had missed this.
It took him scant seconds to get the leverage he needed but once he did, he used it to perfection, driving up and into her, watching with eyes darkened to navy as her breasts bounced in time with his frenetic pumping.
A sense of desperate disbelief filled her as her orgasm approached, ridiculously quick and impossibly stirring. Ironically, he was the both the worst and best person to do this with. The worst because he was Jane… arrogant and self-absorbed and irreverent about most everything that mattered to her, dark obsession wrapped in a pretty package with a bow smile. But… if she were looking for sex without even the mere possibility of more, then a man who was still, in his own way, hopelessly devoted to his dead wife was her best bet.
She would have wondered if he was comparing her to the woman, if she could think. She might have felt bad, for spurring this on when he (they) were so obviously not ready for it. But she could only chant a litany of ecstatic curses while she arched and tilted her hips so he hit that spot right there oh fuck yes just like that and her climax bloomed deep in her belly and unfurled from there, making her quiver uncontrollably and regrettably miss the moment when he fell apart seconds later, jerking inside her with a grunt. The paradox would occur to her only afterward, how this had started so she could smash through his cool, controlled façade, and she missed the evidence of having done just that because she was too busy having hers destroyed.
Jane won again. Always.
With a gasp he fell forward, heavy on her naked breast, moist lips against her shoulder. Almost against her volition, she raised a weak hand to his hair, holding him to her chest. The endorphins from her orgasm allowed her to tolerate the weight of him for a few minutes, until the reality of how uncomfortable this was became undeniable.
She couldn't move; she could barely even breathe. All the good he had done with his earlier massage hadn't prepared her for aggressive sex on her hardwood stairs, and now her body felt positively battered. If she didn't know it was going to hurt, she might have laughed at just how masochistic this whole experience was; maybe she did need that therapy that the Bureau kept trying to force on her.
"Jane," she said, brokenly. He heard the pain in her voice and immediately eased up and off her. Gazing down on her, he looked almost as ravaged as she did. Almost. "I can't…"
"Shh." He pulled away from her, the separation of their bodies somehow feeling painful too, groaning as he straightened his legs. She watched helplessly, afraid to flex any of her taxed muscles. Pulling up and buttoning his slacks quickly, he bent over, repressing his own wince at the motion as he gently gathered her up in his arms.
"Don't…" she protested.
"Don't even start with me, woman," he said, grunting as he hoisted her up, making sure he was stable on his feet before trudging up the stairs.
Weakly she gave in, resting her head exhaustedly on his shoulder as he carried her to her bedroom, where he kicked the door open gently. When he laid her naked and still-damp body on the bed, she nearly groaned in relief; comfort. Finally.
He nudged her. "Roll."
She didn't bother to argue with him; had no life left in her to do so. Rolling to her belly, she buried her face in her pillow and sighed as his hands resumed the massage they had abandoned in her office.
"You sure know how to get yourself in trouble," he said, zeroing in on the spot where the stair had dug into her back.
She hissed at the sensation. "Very funny."
His fingers pressed soothing circles over her aching muscles. "You aren't going to work tomorrow, either. You should rest."
"Shut up," she groused, her words not quite reaching the authoritative tone she tried for because he was just making her feel so goddamn… cared-for. "You don't have to do this. You don't have to be here."
"Don't be that way."
"Let's not make it weird, okay? We both know what this was."
A power-play. A struggle for control. The consequence of too many lonely nights and a niggling suspicion that there was life outside of walls they'd both constructed.
There was silence for what felt like a long time. When he spoke again, his voice had a quality she'd heard before, but only rarely—in the raw moments where he'd been shaken, and the honesty was wrenched from him like a child from her father's arms.
"I don't really… get close. Not anymore. But if I did... I might try to. With you."
It was so hard to tell with him; the teasing from the truth, the genuine from the performance. That's why it would have made her angry again, how much his words warmed her in spite of herself, how despite her logic screaming at her to be careful her heart responded as if what he said were fact. The bastard made her feel things, always had, both bad and good… and isn't that why she hated him sometimes? Why even work didn't seem like a safe haven for her anymore, as long as he was there?
"Why do you have to say things like that?" she regretted.
She heard his ghost of a smile, rather than saw it.
"Just go with it, Lisbon."
She closed her eyes, relaxed into his hands. And just for tonight…
A/N: Oh my gosh that got long. *bites fingernails* So how did I do? I'm still working on understanding the voices of these characters, so any and all feedback is welcome.