Again, this was written for Nellie for the Summer Secret Santa at Jello Forever. Prompt: Sing me to Sleep. Song is "Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks. I didn't use the first verse though. I think it's the third... Thanks to Alamo Girl for the suggestion.
As always, I own nothing from the Mentalist, and I also don't own "Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks.
I hope you enjoy. This might be my second favourite thing I wrote for SSS.
Teresa Lisbon was exhausted.
Completely and utterly exhausted. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and go to sleep. But first they had to drive the two hours back to Sacramento.
Or rather Jane did.
Her consultant was irritatingly wide awake, something that Lisbon was choosing to attribute to the fact that not only did Jane tend to take naps on couches in the middle of the day, but he also hadn't had to chase after a suspect for almost an hour. Clearly Jane had every reason to be alert.
Unlike her. She'd been on her feet for well over twelve hours now. At least that's what it felt like.
Oh well. The case was done. Murderer caught. Score another one for the good guys.
And the fact that Jane was wide awake meant that he'd been perfectly willing to drive the two of them home whereas she was too tired to put up even a token resistance to the idea.
Which Jane was being surprisingly good about actually. He hadn't even teased her once, just offered to drive. Then, when she'd wordlessly handed him the keys all he'd asked was whether she wanted to stop off and get a drink before heading out.
Lisbon rested her head against the window and wished she didn't have to go into the office the next morning. She hadn't gotten a good night's sleep in weeks.
"You can take a nap you know," Jane told her. "I won't be offended. And I'm wide awake so I don't need you to keep me alert."
"S'okay," Lisbon murmured. "M'not tired."
"Course not," Jane muttered, glancing over at the woman in the seat next to him. Stubborn woman, he thought to himself. Any fool could see she was exhausted. And what did she honestly think he'd do if she took a cat nap, drive to Nevada and lose (or, more likely in his case win) a fortune at cards?
Lisbon just needed to relax so she could rest. He started humming softly to himself.
"Whazzatt?" Lisbon slurred, her eyes half closed.
"Nothing," Jane said softly. "Am I bothering you?"
"No," she admitted. "S'nice."
"Good," Jane told her, continuing to hum. He watched as she shifted in the seat, her eyes fluttering all the way closed. As he watched her breathing even out he switched from humming to singing softly, intrigued when her lips curved briefly into a smile.
As you wander through this troubled world How long do you want to be loved
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
How long do you want to be loved
Jane kept up the musical interlude until he was sure she was asleep. Shaking his head softly he continued driving, occasionally humming snatches of almost-forgotten songs to himself. And more than occasionally glancing affectionately at his soundly sleeping passenger.
A couple hours later Jane pulled up outside of her apartment. "Lisbon," he whispered.
She barely stirred.
"Theresa," he tried again more loudly, accompanying the name with a slight shake of her shoulder.
"Wha?" she asked, confused. "Jane?"
"We're home sleepyhead," he told her with a grin. "Well, you are at least."
Lisbon glanced around, slightly disoriented. "I guess I fell asleep after all."
"Guess so," Jane said agreeably. "I figured I'd drop you off, then go pick up my car from the CBI," he told her. "Or I can leave you the SUV and catch a cab."
She nodded, rubbing her eyes. Then she glanced at the clock. "Jane, it's almost one in the morning," she exclaimed.
"Yes it is," he agreed readily.
"It'll be fun getting a cab at this hour. Why don't you just stay here?" she offered, not thrilled with the idea of him leaving her stranded without a vehicle and too tired to care about having him in her apartment. "You can sleep on the couch. You do enough of it at work as it is and mine even pulls out. Plus you've already got your regular sleepwear in the back because of the case anyway. I'll drop you off in the morning if you want."
"You're sure?" he asked, intrigued by her sleepy suggestion. From the tone of her voice it was obvious she hadn't completely woken up.
"Be better then another hour of traveling," she pointed out.
Jane watched her closely. She was tired, but she did appear to be lucid. The offer was unexpected, but genuine. "Alright Lisbon, I accept your offer of your couch. Thank you."
"Come on," she said sleepily. "It's cold out here."
Jane dutifully followed her into her apartment, nodding absently as she pointed out the bathroom and where to find extra bedding and told him to help himself to anything in the fridge. "Not that there's all that much there," she admitted. "I need to go grocery shopping. But I'll grab you blankets and pillows from the closet," she told him.
"Thank you Lisbon," he said softly.
She just waved him off and started rummaging through her closet. Handing him a pile of bedding, she gave an ear-splitting yawn. "Sorry, I'm exhausted. You gonna be okay down here?" she asked.
"Yes," he told her. "Go get your beauty sleep before you fall over."
She nudged him good-naturedly before turning to head up the stairs.
"Thank you for driving," she added. "I really was too tired."
"Well, let me know if you need me to sing you a lullaby," he offered with a grin.
"I think I'm getting a little old for lullabies Jane," Lisbon replied.
"Even if they're written by the Dixie Chicks?" he asked her, as he hummed a few bars.
Lisbon froze, obviously due to the ghost of a memory of the early stages of the ride home. To Jane's amusement she blushed adorably. But when looked like she was about to stutter out some kind of a defensive response Jane decided to cut her off at the pass.
"Should I be insulted that you nodded off almost immediately at the sound of my voice?" he asked with a grin, somewhat entertained when she looked even more embarrassed. "Relax Lisbon," he added softly. "You were asleep on your feet. You needed the nap. In fact, I think you need to take better care of yourself period," he told her.
"Do I?" she asked indignantly, clearly insulted by the insinuation that she wasn't looking after herself.
"Absolutely," Jane said decisively. "Which is why I'm going to make you French toast in the morning. Everyone needs a good breakfast. And even you must have eggs, bread and cinnamon."
"You don't have to…" Lisbon started.
Jane stepped towards her, running a hand down her upper arm. "But I want to. You're running yourself ragged. Call it a thank you for letting me crash on your couch for the night if you must."
Lisbon sighed; she was too tired to fight. "Okay," she muttered, dropping her head to rest on his shoulder. "I love French toast."
Jane tugged her hand softly, pulling her closer until she was leaning more fully against him. "I know you do dear," he told her softly as he slid his hand over to her back and pressed a kiss to her temple. "And thank you for letting me take care of you."
Lisbon whispered something unintelligible into his shoulder. A second later she raised her head blearily.
Jane smiled affectionately at her. It was rare to see Agent Lisbon vulnerable, even if it was just due to exhaustion. "Now go and get yourself to bed or there'll be no French toast for you in the morning young lady," he teased.
Lisbon grinned slightly, "K."
He watched as she walked up the stairs, waiting until she was almost at the door before calling after her, "And let me know if you need another lullaby."
He heard a sleepily indignant, "In your dreams," right before the door closed.
Jane grinned, shaking his head. "Perhaps," he whispered to himself as he set about making his bed.
He settled himself down on her couch, letting the sounds of Lisbon getting ready for bed lull him to sleep. As he began to slip into sleep, Jane was pleased to discover that he quite liked her living room couch.
He wondered if she'd let him sleep on it again.
He certainly hoped so. It was even more comfortable than the one in her office.