A/N: Because I always wanted to see people's reactions at the end of Persuasion (the book). I mean, they tell you Sir. Walter's and Elizabeth's but nobody cares about them. I wrote the ones I care about.
Also, thank you to all the lovely reviewers, both those of you who have read the book and talked to me about the comparisons and how I was doing, and those of you who hadn't and kept sending me lovely things like "Who is this Elliot? I don't quite trust him for some reason." Because that made me happy. This is the end. I hope everyone enjoys.
The next day was a flurry of activity. Both Van Pelt's ID number and Hightower's contacts came through on the Jenkins' case. By mid-afternoon Agent Teresa Lisbon had the supreme satisfaction of clapping a pair of handcuffs around Special Agent Bill Elliot's wrists while Cho emotionlessly read the man his rights.
Lisbon couldn't resist a smirk at his expense. The combination of shock and anger on his face was irresistible. But he'd been amassing blackmail material for years. His getting caught at some point was almost inevitable. No one felt much sympathy for him.
Jane of course looked positively gleeful. Somehow she couldn't quite bring herself to reprimand him for it.
Then there was the inevitable press coverage, which Lisbon tried to keep to a minimum, and stay out of as much as possible. Still, she said the appropriate things and Jane didn't say anything to annoy anyone. In the end Hightower was happy.
The rest of Lisbon's afternoon was spent in meetings, with Hightower, with the D.A., with a representative from the Secret Service. Everyone agreed that the case was pretty rock solid, but with a case like this one everyone also wanted to triple check that everything was done right.
Her day had been so busy that Lisbon had barely had a moment to herself, let alone a moment to spend with Jane. When she left the office to get ready for dinner he was in a meeting with Hightower. Lisbon knew what they were talking about of course. She'd already informed Hightower of her own readiness to take back her consultant. Hightower had been surprised by the idea, but not against it. Lisbon figured she and Jane were discussing the details. Jane'd promised to meet her at the restaurant with the others.
Lisbon got into her apartment just in time to answer her phone. "Lisbon," she said.
"Congratulations Teresa. I heard you made an arrest today," Minelli told her.
"Yeah," she said with a smile, pride rising in her chest at her mentor's praise. "We did. It was a good day."
Minelli paused, "I hope that personally it wasn't too..."
"Oh, no," Lisbon assured him. "Turns out I didn't actually like Agent Elliot all that much for a good reason."
"Well, good. I'm glad," Minelli said gruffly. "Still, I suppose this means Jane's moving on his way again," he added.
Lisbon paused, "Um, yeah, about that..."
Minelli sighed. "I knew it," he said in resignation. "Please tell me he at least had the courtesy to ask you if it was okay with you this time."
"Oh, he did," Lisbon said with a grin.
Minelli paused when he heard the obvious satisfaction in her voice. "And you're sure you're okay with having him back on your team?" he asked.
"I am," she confirmed.
"Lisbon I know you two were friends and all, and you know that I liked Jane as much as the next person who had to work with him, but are you really sure?" Minelli asked again. He just hoped she wasn't doing this because she felt obligated or something. Lisbon's tendencies to care for strays were well-known.
"I'm sure," she told him. "I could always deal with Jane, most of the time at least."
"Even after the last year? Do you really think that the two of you can work..."
"He apologized," Lisbon said softly.
"What?" Minelli asked, surprised by that. "Patrick Jane actually apologized to you?"
"Yes," she confirmed.
"Sincerely?" he double-checked.
"Oh yes," Lisbon grinned. "He misses the team a quite a bit apparently."
Minelli paused, finally connecting the dots. "He's not just coming back for the CBI is he?"
"No," she admitted.
"Teresa," Minelli said softly. Not sure what to say.
"I'm happy," she replied just as softly.
Minelli paused. That really was all that he'd wanted for her. And Jane wasn't really a bad guy after all. Especially if he was prepared to make amends. "I suppose this means he'll be joining us at some of our dinners," Minelli told her.
"Not necessarily," Lisbon said with a grin.
"Hmph." was Minelli's response. "You're absolutely sure?" he couldn't help double-checking.
"Yes," she replied.
"Fine, but if he screws up again I'm shooting him myself," Minelli told her. "You tell him that Lisbon. Tell him I will find him and I will show up at his door and I will have a gun, which I will know how to use. I'm serious. I will shoot him Teresa. Unless you've already shot him of course, in which case I will obviously help you dispose of the body."
"I'll pass that along sir," she told him. "And thank you." She'd known Minelli would come around. She'd never been worried about that. Virgil'd always been all bluster.
"Well now I'm really surprised I didn't hear stories about Jane tormenting Elliot," Minelli admitted. "Maybe he has learned a little restraint."
Lisbon smirked. "Obviously I wouldn't know for sure, what with my duty to the law and all," she said. "But I almost thought I saw Jane steal Elliot's wallet after he was arrested and then accidentally drop it in a garbage can. Of course that may have been a trick of the light," she added.
"Of course," Minelli said. "And when did this trick of the light occur?"
"Right before Rigsby accidentally tripped and Elliot fell into a wall," Lisbon admitted.
"I see," Minelli said dryly. "You always did have good people," he told her.
"Yeah," she agreed.
"I'm glad you're happy Teresa," he told her suddenly.
Lisbon wasn't sure what to say.
"And I guess if you wanted to bring Jane on Wednesday that would be okay," he added.
"You don't have to..." she started, surprised by pleased by the offer..
"Well, Mary wants to meet him anyway. Always sees him on TV and thinks he looks perfectly charming. 'Course she's never met him," Minelli muttered.
"Of course," Lisbon said smiling indulgently. "I'll ask him. For Mary's benefit of course. And thank you."
"Yes well," Minelli said. "I should probably let you go, I'm sure you have things to do."
"Yes sir," she told him. "Thanks for the call."
"Congratulations on the case Teresa," he said again. "Really. And remind that lunatic that I'm keeping an eye on him."
"And that you have a gun," Lisbon added. "Got it sir. I'll see you on Wednesday."
"Goodbye Teresa," Minelli replied.
Lisbon arrived at the restaurant just after the rest of her team. Sophie and Harry were already there. It turned out they were just waiting for Jane so the group decided they may as well get a table. Somehow Lisbon managed to ensure that one of the seats next to her was empty. She wasn't sure exactly how, though she suspected part of it was thanks to Sophie's help. Jane's friend promptly sat on her other side.
"You look like you're in a good mood today Agent Lisbon," Sophie told her.
"Please," Lisbon said, "Call me Teresa." She had a feeling that she and the other woman would be seeing a fair bit of each other after all.
"Alright," Sophie told her. "But whatever I call you, you're still in a good mood."
Lisbon shrugged, "We closed the case, caught a bad guy. That's always cause for celebration," she said.
"Yeah, and this definitely beats closed case pizza," Rigsby added from across the table.
"That it does," Lisbon agreed.
"And is Patrick in a good mood as well?" Sophie asked. "Is he pleased that you've solved your case?"
Lisbon paused, momentarily suspicious. The other woman was clearly leading somewhere, and Lisbon could probably make a guess as to where that was, but she had no idea what the woman knew, or thought she knew. "He seemed to be," Lisbon told the other woman honestly. "But whether he still will be after a meeting with Hightower is anybody's guess."
"Wonder if he'll be happy to be on the road again," Harry mused. "After all, his job means that he travels fairly constantly. Must have been nice to touch base with some old friends."
Lisbon noticed that the smiles slid off Rigsby and Van Pelt's faces at that. Lisbon took a drink of her water to conceal her own grin.
"Wonder if Pat'll ever settle down again," Harry continued. "I mean, even those of us filled with wanderlust in our youth can settle down when we're older. Like yours truly," he added. "But after what happened to him the last time he tried, I don't know if Pat ever will choose a permanent home base."
"Oh, I don't know," Sophie mused, shooting a glance towards Lisbon, knowing full well the Agent knew a lot more about the subject than she was saying. "I think one day he might surprise you."
"Sophie always was an old romantic," Harry told Lisbon conspiratorially.
"Hey, it's not a bad thing to be all things considered," Lisbon pointed out.
"No, I suppose not," he agreed.
"Lisbon, don't you know what Jane's doing?" Van Pelt asked.
"Not exactly," Lisbon answered evasively.
"Yeah, why does Jane have to meet with Hightower anyway?" Rigsby asked suddenly.
Lisbon shrugged again. "Like I said, you'd have to ask him that," she told the other agent.
"But you know," Cho added. It was a statement, not a question.
"Of course she does," Jane agreed as he walked up to the group. "Hello all," he said. "Sorry I'm late." Then he sent Lisbon a quick nod and a wink. She let out a breath she hadn't even realized she was holding.
He kissed Sophie on the cheek, shook hands with Harry, nodded at the team, and gently squeezed Lisbon's shoulder.
"Okay, I'll ask," Rigsby said in exasperation. "What was your meeting with Hightower about Jane?"
"We were discussing my return to the team," he told them blithely.
"What?" Van Pelt cried in shock.
Rigsby appeared frozen in surprise and Cho was grinning.
Lisbon laughed before she could help it.
"You knew!" Van Pelt accused her.
"It knew what the meeting was about," she corrected. "I didn't know what Hightower would say, and we both thought it would be better not to tell you in case..."
"In case Hightower gave me the old heave ho," Jane filled in cheerfully. "She didn't of course. You were right," he told Lisbon. "Seemed positively thrilled by the idea. Though apparently under no circumstances am I ever to speak to the press without advance permission or supervision," he added, reciting Hightower's exact words.
"Can't imagine why," Cho said dryly.
"She even agreed to my condition," Jane continued on as though the Asian agent hadn't spoken. "Although as it turned out it wasn't even an issue," he told Lisbon. "You were right again."
"Yeah, I thought maybe, but I wasn't sure," she replied with a grin.
"And what was the condition?" asked Rigsby, because he knew it was expected of him.
"That as a consultant I be exempt from the anti-fraternization rule," Jane replied, kissing Lisbon's hand. "She almost looked surprised by the question. I wish you could have seen it Teresa."
You could have heard a pin drop at the table.
"I knew it!" Van Pelt said suddenly. "Pay up," she said holding her hand open for Rigsby.
"Oh man," Jane told him. "You're losing bets to Van Pelt now on top of everyone else?"
Rigsby stuttered, "Well, how was I supposed to know... we made that bet years ago!"
This time it was Lisbon's turn to be shocked. "What?" she asked.
"Oh yeah," Cho told her.
"You weren't even in on it," Rigsby muttered to his friend.
"Good thing too," Cho told him. "Otherwise you'd be giving me money as well."
"Should we be concerned that they knew potentially before we did?" Jane asked Lisbon.
She shrugged. "Maybe. Though wouldn't the bet have been dissolved after Jane left?"
"We decided that if Jane wasn't back in two years, that Rigsby won," Van Pelt told her. "But we all figured it was only a matter of time before his curiosity got the better of him and he was back."
"Then as soon as we saw you two together it was obvious," Cho added.
Lisbon looked shocked at that.
"Hey, if I'd known there was a bet going I would have put down twenty on the pair of you as well," Sophie told her.
Jane raised an eyebrow at his friend. "Would you now?"
"It was obvious the second you walked into that restaurant two days ago," she told him. "She makes you happy."
"Well that's true," Jane agreed.
"I told you she was good for you then too," Sophie told him.
"And I believe I agreed," Jane replied. "Though I'm not sure you heard me."
"I got the gist of it," Sophie replied. She turned to Lisbon, "You've got your work cut out for you with this one," she told her.
"I know," Lisbon agreed. "But at least it'll never be boring."
Sophie laughed. "Let me know if you need any help."
"I'll do that," Lisbon told her.
Suddenly Harry punched Jane in the shoulder.
"Ow!" he said. "What was that for?"
"A conversation I had yesterday that makes a lot more sense now," Harry replied. "And there'll be a lot more with it too if I hear anything like it again," he told his friend.
Jane rubbed his shoulder. "Fair enough," he told him. "That hurt you know. You hit almost as hard as Lisbon."
"Oh speaking of pain," Lisbon added as an aside to Jane, while the others got into a loud argument about exactly when everybody else at the table had known something was up. "Minelli wanted me to tell you that he's keeping an eye on you and he has a gun."
"Well isn't that friendly of Virgil," Jane replied.
"He did ask you to dinner on Wednesday," Lisbon told him.
"Why? So he can shoot me at close range?" Jane wondered.
Lisbon smirked. "I didn't ask."
"He does know that if I ever do screw up massively, you'll probably just shoot me first, right?" Jane couldn't help pointing out.
"In which case he offered to hide the body," Lisbon told him pleasantly.
Jane considered that. "Well, given that you're like a daughter to him that seems only fair. What time on Wednesday?"
"Six-thirty," Lisbon replied.
"I'll be there," Jane promised.
When the happy chatter died down, Lisbon turned to her team. "Seriously now, are you guys okay with this?" she asked. "Because you'll have to work with me and Jane and I don't want you feeling uncomfortable or..."
"Lisbon," Van Pelt interrupted her. "Don't be an idiot. We think it's great."
Lisbon grinned softly, "You sure?"
The other three nodded.
"Okay," she said. "But I want you to know that you can come to me, if..."
"Boss," Cho told her. "Seriously, shut up. It's fine."
"We know you," Rigsby told her. "You'll be professional. Well, as much as Jane will let you be, but I seriously doubt that'd change whether you were dating or not."
"Well that's true," Lisbon agreed.
"And Jane won't be professional either way," Cho added.
"It's fine," Van Pelt told her again. "Stop worrying."
"See Teresa, you can relax," Jane told her. "And like Grace said, stop being an idiot. After all," he added cheerfully. "That's my job, remember?"
Lisbon let herself lean back against his shoulder contentedly. Maybe she really should stop worrying. After the last couple of years she'd earned it. They both had.
Maybe, for once in her life, she should just let herself be happy.
And that's it. It's done. Which makes me kind of sad, but what can you do? I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing.