Disclaimer: Not really, no.
Spoilers: All S2
Summary: Every woman has her secrets. Or, five things Jane doesn't know about Lisbon. Yet.
Author's Note: Are you guys sick of the JF Summer Secret Santa stories yet? This was originally written for LSR-7, loosely based off of the prompt "Jane is caught off guard." I went a little bit outside my usual comfort zone, and this was the end result. :)
Thanks to Yana for betaing. Title (and lyrics) by Sarah McLachlan.
With shooting stars and hopeful hearts our worlds collide
And so we rushed to fill each other in
Teresa Lisbon's day is not off to a promising start.
She watches with apprehension as a blond man in an expensive gray suit shakes hands with absolutely everyone in the bullpen, even Mike, the night janitor who is just getting off duty.
There's no need, though; Patrick Jane requires no introduction.
The entire CBI has been abuzz with talk of his imminent return for weeks now, but while Patrick Jane seems to have the rest of the bullpen under his spell already, Lisbon wants no part of it. She already had the pleasure of being introduced to the man last week in Minelli's office, and once is more than enough.
The only problem is that Patrick Jane has been assigned to her team for the foreseeable future.
The subject of her ire appears in her doorway, halfway in her office before he even thinks to knock, and greets her with a cheerful, upbeat tone that seems to mock her.
All Lisbon can muster is a terse smile in return; she becomes more and more uncomfortable every second she spends in this man's presence. "Good morning, Jane," she replies finally. "Can I help you?"
"No, no," he dismisses her question with a casual wave of his hand.
He lingers silently in the doorway, but when Lisbon looks up from her report, she can practically see his mind processing something, though she isn't sure what.
"If you're looking for a captive audience, you may want to go back out there," she says, nodding her head in the direction of the bullpen.
His head turns to the side just slightly, and he steps over the threshold at long last, the door swinging shut behind him. He approaches her desk, a hint of amusement in his expression as his tone becomes calculating and clinical.
"You're not thrilled about this arrangement," he observes. "In fact, you absolutely despise it, but you're willing to go along with it because Minelli asked you to." A pregnant pause, and then, "You believe that the risks outweigh the benefits, even though you are skeptical, at best, that I will be of any significant use to your investigative process."
Lisbon stiffens, rapidly clicking the top of her pen; her hands need an outlet for their nervous energy. "If you're trying to impress me with your supposed observational skills, you need to try harder," she counters, slightly defensive.
"Oh, I'm just warming up," Jane replies, and Lisbon has the sinking feeling that he's being completely honest.
Leaning forward against her desk, Jane continues, "You like to read, but you don't have time to do so often. Your favorite Austen novel is Persuasion, although everyone assumes that it's Pride and Prejudice, and your favorite color is red." He pauses for a moment to straighten his posture and then adds, almost as an afterthought, "You like being in charge, Agent Lisbon. In control. Oldest child, perhaps? You have several siblings, all brothers."
"Why don't you save that psychic crap for the suspects, Jane." Lisbon rolls her eyes, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of admitting he is right on almost all counts.
He's wrong about one thing, though. In another lifetime, when she had the time to think about things like that, her favorite color was always green.
She never tells him of his mistake, and it turns out to be one of the few times he is ever wrong about her.
Lisbon recaps her mascara and takes one final look in the mirror to inspect her appearance. Satisfied, she grabs her gold clutch and descends the stairs, flipping off the light in the living room as she exits her apartment.
She climbs into her car and pulls out onto the street, guiding the Mustang through the lamp-lit streets of Sacramento. A soft smile plays at her lips when she catches her reflection in the rearview mirror.
As much as she isn't looking forward to this evening's CBI charity fundraiser, she appreciates the excuse to exchange her usual workwear for formal attire; she even relishes it.
This simple fact would come as a complete surprise to most - if not all - of her coworkers. Teresa Lisbon actually enjoys abandoning her dark professional slacks for a black strapless dress every once in a while. Not often, mind you, but occasionally.
It wasn't always this way, though.
As a child, she had always been a bit of a tomboy, and dresses got in the way of keeping up with the boys at recess. After her mother died, she simply never had time for such luxuries. Her early adolescent years focused more on making sure that her brothers did their homework and were safe in bed when their father came stumbling home, belligerent, in a drunken stupor. Unlike her friends, she did not have a mother or an older sister to teach her about makeup and take her shopping, and those things are far more difficult to learn when lacking in time and guidance.
It's a rare indulgence for the woman behind the agent, a practical woman who does enjoy the simplicity of her everyday wardrobe. However for tonight, this change of pace is too enticing to overlook; an escape from the past few weeks, from a reality she isn't ready to confront quite yet.
When she arrives at the event, Lisbon parks quickly and exits her vehicle; her heels click in time against the asphalt as she approaches the front entrance. Once inside, she searches the hordes of socialites for a familiar face.
Jane finds her first, however, sidling up alongside her as she stands by the coat check station.
"Good evening." He grins at her cheerfully. "I was beginning to wonder if you were opting to be fashionably late."
Lisbon turns and quirks an eyebrow. "And leave you to perform unsupervised? Not a chance."
He shrugs, feigning innocence. "Are you offering to be my assistant?"
She stifles a laugh at the mere possibility, but in doing so, it simply transforms into a decidedly unrefined snort, as if to contradict her very appearance. She smiles in spite of herself, for maybe the first time in weeks. "I think you can answer your own question," she remarks dryly.
"The position is yours if you want it." Jane winks; then he leans in, right hand brushing the small of her back as he whispers against her cheek. "And by the way, you look lovely tonight, Lisbon."
He disappears back into the crowd without warning, leaving her still smiling softly in his wake. Jane doesn't glance behind him as he walks away; he doesn't have to.
He just always knows.
Moonlight seeps in through the blinds as Lisbon works by the dim light of her desk lamp. She bites back a yawn and rotates her neck, trying to relieve the pressure in her tense muscles.
It's the first Red John case they've had in almost six months, the first Red John case since Kristina Frye went missing. Although Lisbon's entire being is consumed by exhaustion, one look at Jane, lying awake and expressionless on the sofa, is enough to keep her at the office until late into the night. He's different this time, and that worries her even more than the knowledge that he still hasn't been honest about exactly what happened nearly six months ago.
Sighing, she leans forward and taps her pen against her notepad.
She could never tell Jane, but at this point, she wants Red John dead almost as much as he does.
It's more than Bosco, although just the memory of her former mentor is still sometimes more than she can bear. They've come close, so close, so many times now, only to have Red John slip through their fingers. She's finally been forced to confront the very real possibility that they could catch him, only to have him escape from prison before trial or sentencing.
The difference between Lisbon and Jane, though, is that she refuses to compromise her own principles - even for Red John.
So she watches Jane closer than ever before. She has always been stubborn, and if Jane won't steer himself away from the dangerous path he is walking, then she will simply stand in his way and prevent him from venturing any further.
Red John does slip through their fingers yet again, but this time is the last time.
Two months later, he breaks into a young woman's home, not counting on her fiancé returning to pick up a forgotten briefcase; arriving just in time to shoot Red John on the spot, killing him instantly.
It takes several days for the local police to make the connection.
Rigsby takes the original phone call and comes to her immediately, halting uneasily near her office door when he notices Jane occupying her couch.
"Uh, San Bernardino PD is on the phone for you, Boss," he mumbles quickly before darting back to the safety of the bullpen.
Lisbon furrows her brow as she picks up the phone, listening with rapt attention while the voice on the other end of the line casually relays the events of Red John's demise. When she replaces the receiver, her hand is steady but her heart is racing, erratic. She tells Jane first, then immediately prepares to make the trip to San Bernardino.
Jane remains completely silent until long after they confirm Red John's identity.
It's late at night when he finally comes knocking at her motel room, but she couldn't sleep, either. They sit quietly side by side on the foot of her bed, but it's an oddly comfortable silence. An understanding.
He reaches out cautiously, two fingers against her wrist, warming her slowly from within.
"I'm glad you're here." He smiles, soft and genuine; the first words he's spoken since he sat on her office couch almost a full day ago.
She exhales, tilting her head to meet his gaze. For the first time, she truly believes that they may both come out of this unscathed.
Comforted by his hand lingering on her forearm, she relaxes into his touch. "I've always been here, Jane."
Lisbon frowns as she makes her way down the corridor and approaches the bullpen, noticing that someone left a light on. Her meeting with Hightower had run significantly later than planned, and everyone else on her team should have gone home for the night over an hour ago.
She rounds the corner, and her eyes immediately fall on the sight of Patrick Jane lying stretched out on his couch, gray suit jacket folded neatly over the armrest.
It has been quite some time since she's caught him like this after hours; months since Red John's demise.
He still uses his couch on a regular basis during the workday, but she has noticed him far more willing to sleep at his apartment in town. As she quietly stands over his sleeping form, she realizes that he actually appears to be resting, instead of just restless. Peaceful.
This change in him happened so gradually that she did not even notice it until now.
Jane yawns and sits up, well-worn leather giving easily as he shifts positions.
"What are you still doing here?" she teases, crossing her arms over her chest for emphasis.
He grins and pats the cushion next to him. "I should be asking you the same question."
"My meeting with Hightower ran over." Lisbon tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear and lowers herself beside him, brown leather creaking softly beneath her. "What's your excuse?"
He meets her gaze, his expression innocent though his tone is anything but. "Would you believe me if I said I was waiting for you?"
She settles back against the couch cushions, making herself comfortable as she snorts in disbelief.
"I mean it," Jane insists, serious this time. "You should have been done over an hour ago."
Snapping forward, Lisbon eyes him suspiciously and chews on her lower lip. "Were you... actually waiting for me?"
Jane winks, but remains silent.
"Jane." She blinks and then stares at him, trying to read his intentions.
Ignoring her, he places both hands on his knees and rises from the couch. "I'm hungry," he says absently.
"Jane." Realization dawns on her, and Lisbon shakes her head, laughing. "Jane, if you wanted company for dinner, all you had to do was ask. I would have said yes."
Lisbon blinks and sleepily rubs her eyes, trying to hold on to the last vestiges of sleep for as long as possible. Finally giving in, she makes no attempt to stifle a yawn and sits up in bed, letting the sheet drop around her with no regard for propriety.
She grabs the first article of clothing she can find and makes her way downstairs.
The sight that greets her in the kitchen has her grinning in spite of herself. Jane stands with his back to her, busying himself among bowls and pitchers and an elaborate assortment of vegetables on the counter beside her stovetop.
She slides up next to him. "This looks pretty ambitious for 7:00 on a Saturday morning."
"Good morning to you too."
He shifts several bowls around, and that's when she notices the eggs and cheese that had been previously hidden behind the mushrooms.
"Omelets?" she asks, as he finally abandons the task at hand and leans in to kiss her.
He takes a step back, and his gaze travels appreciatively over her. After nearly a month, this seems both novel and oddly familiar all at once.
"My shirt looks good on you," he remarks casually. His attention shifts back to the preparations at hand.
Lisbon cranes her neck and peers over his bare shoulder. "All this extra effort is nice, Jane, but it's really unnecessary. I actually prefer my eggs scrambled."
Jane's entire body halts suddenly. Turning to face her head on, he frowns in obvious disbelief. "Are you sure?"
"You should really tell me these things, woman," he says seriously, but his usual self-assured, charming grin is still absent in favor of self deprecation. A truly disconcerting sight on Patrick Jane's face.
Lisbon runs her hand along his shoulder, a brief reassurance.
"I've got to keep you on your toes." She shrugs, releasing a soft chuckle, and casually pops a diced tomato in her mouth. "Besides, I've got to have some secrets. Even the great Patrick Jane doesn't know everything."
Jane has the presence of mind to flip off the burners before kissing her this time. When they break apart, breathless, he looks at her with a playful intensity that leaves her feeling dizzy.
"I may not know everything yet," he grins. "But just give me time."