Not sure where this came from... It is entirely possible that my chest cold is causing a reduced supply of oxygen to my brain, which could account for it. Brains are finicky about that sort of thing.

Disclaimer: We would know a lot more about these two by now if I owned them.


The Questionnaire

Favourite colour?

Jane liked to wear blue, while Lisbon tended to favour green. But Jane also liked it best when Lisbon wore green, while Lisbon thought Jane looked nicest in blue. And they both preferred the sky to be blue (though they weren't against sunsets, of course, or the star-studded velvety-black of the night sky) and the grass to be green (unless it was the tall, golden type that conjured up images of endless prairies of waving grass and grazing buffalo). And that was before they'd even started considering all the other colours...

Is this a trick question?

Blonde or brunette?

Well, Jane had always been pretty partial to blondes, but then again, Lisbon was a brunette and he wouldn't change a thing about her, least of all her hair-colour. So it was difficult to say, really.

Lisbon had always thought she preferred dark-haired guys, but she had to confess that Jane's fair curls were a fairly persuasive argument in favour of blonds. No harm in broadening one's horizons, after all.

It depends on who the hair is attached to.

Mountains or beach?

Jane already had too many memories of the beach. The mountains would be a nice change of pace, provided the pace didn't include hiking. On the other hand, he was far likelier to see Lisbon in a bikini if they were at the beach, which, let's face it, was a new memory well worth making. Tough call.

Lisbon had always liked the mountains, but she had heard a rumour that Jane knew how to surf and that was something she'd only be able to confirm for herself if they went to the beach. Seeing his expression when she coerced him into climbing a mountain would also be pretty fun, though. Why did it have to be one or the other?

Both.

Left or right side of the bed?

Jane's wife had slept on the right, so Jane had slept on the left. After her death he had begun to sleep on the right, but it wasn't long before he had abandoned the fiction that he used one side or the other. He was such a restless sleeper that he generally used the whole bed, getting in or out of whichever side was nearest at the time.

For most of her life, Lisbon's bed had been against a wall, which meant she'd had to get in the side that was free. Since this had changed on a regular basis, she'd never become attached to one side more than the other. In fact, she still moved her bed around fairly regularly, and consequently changed which side she got into bed. She generally ended up sleeping in the middle regardless of where she'd started out.

Either.

Favourite fruit?

At last, an easy one!

Strawberries.

Favourite TV show growing up?

Jane hadn't watched much TV as a kid, but one show had rather captured his fancy. It had encouraged him to daydream about someday using his skills to bring down evil-doers and rescue the innocent (preferably in the form of fair maidens). He hadn't mentioned those aspirations to his father.

It occurred to Lisbon that it was possible she'd always had a (previously undetected) 'type' – the blond magician who hates guns and prefers to save the day with his wits. She shook the idea off irritably.

MacGuyver.

Morning or evening?

Jane was ready for action any time of the night or day. He was also happy to sleep at any time of the night or day, despite never having been very good at sleeping in the traditional sense. But in his life as it was at present, evenings meant long quiet hours spent alone in the office with his favourite little night-owl workaholic. And that trumped grumpy morning Lisbon by a long way.

Lisbon wasn't a morning person. She resented mornings and hated making the transition from sleeping to waking. By evening, though, she was well into her stride, and liked to make use of the long quiet hours to get through her interminable paperwork.

Evening.

Reality or scripted TV?

Jane liked National Geographic. He rarely bothered with shows that required a regular investment of time from him.

Lisbon seldom watched anything other than movies or documentaries. Anything else required more of a commitment of time and energy than she was prepared or able to give. Her hours were too erratic and she just never got around to keeping up with things.

Neither.

Eating out or ordering in?

Jane liked eating out. He liked the good food, he liked being able to people watch and he liked feeling part of the human race. And with the right company, it was one of his favourite ways of passing the time.

Lisbon worried about eating too much junk food. And she hated cooking. Eating at a good restaurant was like a decadent way of eating food that was good for you and which you didn't have to cook yourself. Plus, when you ate out, you usually had company. Eating alone at home really wasn't much fun.

Eating out.

Favourite song?

So many choices, so little time... Jane actually hadn't been paying as much attention to music as he had in the old days. And since he'd intentionally cut himself off from much of his past, the music he'd loved then didn't have the same impact on him now as it used to. There was one song he'd heard recently that had made an impression, though.

Lisbon rarely took the time to think about music. She had some CD's at home from years ago that she still listened to occasionally and enjoyed, but nothing really stood out. There was, however, one old favourite that had cropped up recently that she found she still loved.

More Than Words.

Favourite day of the week?

Jane knew that most people liked weekends the best, but he wasn't most people. His weekends were long, lonesome and dull. It was always a relief to come to work on a Monday, to the bustle and the action and the people. Could you miss a person after only two days apart? Or, more accurately, should you?

Lisbon felt a little embarrassed to admit it, but she didn't like too much down-time. All she ever seemed to do when she was home was chores, anyway, and that greatly reduced its appeal. Work, however, was where she was most alive, in charge, challenged, able to make a difference. She liked to be busy and she found it invigorating having other people around. Especially some.

Monday.

City or country?

Jane liked to look at pretty scenery as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, he liked being around people. People were his entertainment and his audience and the city provided him with a virtually inexhaustible and wonderfully varied supply.

Lisbon liked the challenges of the city. She was ambitious and driven and would have quickly felt stifled and left-behind in the relative quiet and calm of the country. She liked action and the city was the place to find it. The country, to her, was the place you went to occasionally to recuperate from your hectic, stressful Real Life.

City.

Dogs or cats?

Cats made Jane sneeze. Lisbon adored dogs.

Dogs.

Foreign country you'd most like to visit?

Jane wasn't really picky. People were interesting wherever you went. The idea of travelling alone, however, didn't appeal to him at all. Going with Lisbon (for example) would be much more fun. And since Lisbon was of Irish extraction, Ireland would be a logical place to start.

Lisbon had always wanted to go to Ireland. She'd heard so much about it from family members that it felt like a part of her already. She absolutely intended to visit it someday; the only thing holding her back was that she didn't want to go overseas alone. She'd go as soon as she could persuade someone to go with her.

Ireland.

Favourite spectator sport?

If Jane had been British (or from one of the other Commonwealth countries like, say, Australia), cricket would undoubtedly have been his sport of choice. What other sport would complement a three-piece-suit and a tendency to use antiquated language as well as the Gentleman's Sport? Since he was American, however, he had to settle for the closest American equivalent.

Lisbon had always been an avid sports fan, but one sport had always stood out as her favourite, both to play and to watch.

Baseball.

Bath or shower?

Jane had always liked showering. It made him feel as though all the dirt and unpleasantness of life was getting rinsed off him and disappearing down the drain, never to be seen again. That was a form of therapy he could really get behind. Also (speaking of forms of therapy he approved of), most of his wet Lisbon fantasies were set in the shower.

Lisbon liked a good soak in the bath, but if she had to choose between a room with a bath or one with a shower, she always chose the latter. Showers were both soothing and practical, especially if you had long hair to wash. They were also more accommodating space-wise if you ever decided to invite someone to join you. Not that she had any specific plans in that regard, of course, but she was a big believer in always being prepared.

Shower.


Van Pelt collected the questionnaires and read through the answers with interest. After a few minutes, her brow furrowed in confusion. She looked at Jane.

"Okay, seriously, how did you do that?"

"Do what?" Jane was puzzled, but a lifetime of schooling his features into expressing knowledgeable secretiveness instead of ignorance and confusion had not been in vain. As far as Van Pelt was concerned, he knew exactly what she was talking about and was just being annoying.

"How did you know what Lisbon was writing?"

Jane's years of training finally failed him. He was sufficiently surprised to say, "We had the same answers?" and to reach eagerly for the questionnaires to confirm this for himself.

Lisbon got there first and snatched the pages out of his reach. Her eyes scanned quickly down their answers, widening slightly as they went. Thoroughly confused and not even attempting to hide it, she handed the pages silently to Jane.

"Well," he said when he finished reading.

"Well, indeed," Lisbon agreed. "It seems that we're spending far too much time together!"

Jane gathered his scattered wits together.

"Come now, Lisbon, you're looking at this all wrong," he said. "The correct response is: where should we go first – a baseball game, dinner, the beach, the mountains or Ireland?"

"How is it that two people who disagree on absolutely everything managed to come up with all the same answers?" Lisbon wondered aloud.

"Clearly," Jane responded, "one of us only pretends to disagree with the other, presumably in a misguided attempt at maintaining a professional distance." He turned to the rest of the team. "Who's up for a baseball game? I think Lisbon would be more comfortable if we all went together, at least initially. Slow and steady, as they say. The tortoise is more likely to get Lisbon to Ireland than the hare."

Before Lisbon could voice her objections, he leaned very close to her and added softly in her ear, "Though the finish line I'm most looking forward to is that shower. I'm sure you won't mind if I don't invite the others to that."

And Lisbon really couldn't think of anything to say after that.

THE END


Blame the virus or the bacterium or whatever it is. I'm light-headed, I tell you. Otherwise I'd never let Jane have the last word.