So, you know what can get angsty? A lot of fic in this fandom (understandably). Especially AU, established-relationship(ish) series. You know what's a good way to take a break from angst? Fluffy Festive Fic! Seriously, the following is so sweet it may give you cavities (though the lovely Alamo Girl who read it over for me, assures me it's not that bad).
But I thought I'd post it today. After all, it's midnight. Which means exactly a month until Christmas. Seemed appropriate.
I own nothing Mentalist related. I'm just having a bit of fun. I hope you enjoy.
Making Spirits Bright
Teresa Lisbon was in her office bright and early on Christmas Eve, just as she would be on any other day. She had Christmas off, yes, but she hadn't really requested any other holiday time this year. She'd let people with families and kids take the days. Why not? She didn't really have holiday plans. She didn't mind.
After all, they'd celebrated at the office. There'd been a CBI holiday party and there'd been a team Secret Santa. Rigsby had given her a lovely gift certificate, this time to one of her favourite restaurants. She'd gotten Cho a complete set of Sherlock Holmes novels. He'd mentioned one day that he'd never actually read them. Her second in command had seemed pleased, and that was all that mattered.
Now she was gearing up for a low-key Christmas.
Which suited her just fine.
Most of her team was already off for the holidays anyway. Or they were only working a half-day. Most of them.
"You're still in today, I see," Jane said as he peeked his head in her office door. "You do know it's Christmas Eve, right Lisbon?"
"You knew I'd be in," Lisbon replied dryly, as she scanned her in-box. "Besides, you're still kicking around."
Jane walked into her office. "We both know why I'm here," he reminded her gently. "Nowhere else to go."
Lisbon met his eyes, "Jane," she said softly.
He waved a dismissive hand at her and turned his smile back on full blast. "It's fine Lisbon," he told her. "Besides, we're talking about you here."
"No, you're talking about me," Lisbon corrected, turning back to her computer.
"Why aren't you going back east?" Jane pressed. "I'm sure your brothers wanted you to."
Lisbon sighed. "I'm busy," she said quickly.
"No you're not," Jane retorted. "No busier than usual at least. Less so actually since most of your team isn't even here. You would have easily gotten the time off if you'd asked. You know you would have."
Lisbon shrugged, but decided to answer the question. "It's just, I don't know," she said. "I know what it'll be like at my brother's. Couple of my brothers, their wives, all their kids. And then me. On my own. They'll include me in everything obviously, but I didn't feel like being the only single person at a massive Christmas dinner. Makes me a little uncomfortable is all. Besides, it's not like we always had the big family dinners growing up."
When Jane didn't answer right away Lisbon chanced a glance in his direction. He looked well, she wasn't sure. Not pitying. Maybe sympathetic? Understanding?
"Jane?" she prompted.
"I can understand preferring to be by yourself rather than alone in a crowd," he said eventually.
She frowned. She always hated when Jane started talking like that. Like there was no one in the world who'd care one way or the other whether he disappeared off the face of the earth. "I thought you liked crowds," she reminded him. "You always seem to like having an audience."
Jane shrugged, "Still." Then he brightened again. "Still," he repeated cheerfully. "I think you should celebrate Christmas somehow, Lisbon."
Lisbon frowned. She wasn't sure why Jane seemed to think that her celebrating was so important, especially since he didn't seem to care one way or another for himself. "I did celebrate," she reminded him. "With the team."
"I meant celebrate more," Jane clarified. "Do something special, something festive, something for you."
"Are you?" she asked pointedly.
"Stop changing the subject," Jane told her. "It's the holidays. Get in the spirit of things. Let yourself have fun for one day. You know what they say Lisbon, Christmas comes but once a year."
"It's one day, Lisbon," Jane repeated, oddly insistently.
"I'll try and figure something out," Lisbon said sarcastically. She always hated it whenever Jane implied that she was incapable of having fun. What would he know? Just because she didn't have a traditional social life... Besides, he was one to talk. She just wasn't feeling particularly Christmassy this year. Why did he care?
"No you won't," Jane shot back. "You're going to just do whatever you were planning on doing before I came in."
"I'm sorry if your little pep talk hasn't made me want to completely overhaul my Christmas plans Jane," Lisbon replied.
Jane grinned. "Fine," he said. "Be that way. But it's not healthy. I'll be around if you need me."
"I'll keep that in mind," Lisbon muttered. She wasn't even sure if he'd heard her. He'd already ducked out of her office.
He didn't stay away for long though. He kept ducking back in from time to time, asking her about Christmas traditions, her favourite Christmas carols, her favourite hot beverage... He seemed to think that if he talked about it enough she'd suddenly get festive. She tried to put him off, but she discovered soon enough that it was simply quicker to tell him she liked hot chocolate with a million mini marshmallows. That way he'd simply nod and duck out of her office again.
And then she could get back to work.
Later that evening Lisbon was still in her office for reasons unknown (or at the very least unacknowledged). She'd been searching for things to do for almost an hour now. Still, for some reason going home had even less appeal. And now she was probably one of the few remaining people in the building.
Of course, Jane was almost certainly still around as well. Her consultant hadn't dropped in to say goodnight yet. Probably still in that damn attic. She didn't like the idea of him up there all alone on Christmas Eve. Or worse, Christmas Day. It was even more depressing than usual. She hadn't had the courage to ask him about his own Christmas plans. She was certain he didn't have any and she hadn't wanted to watch him come up with a lie to comfort her.
On the other hand, it was always possible that he'd snuck out already. It seemed unlikely. If he did leave the CBI before she did, he usually dropped by to say goodnight. Plus she thought she'd heard him in the break room earlier. She assumed he was making tea.
Suddenly her phone rang.
"Lisbon," she said, answering it after the first ring.
"Ever diligent aren't you Lisbon?" Jane's voice said in her ear. "Even on Christmas Eve when you don't have to be here."
"Why are you still here?" he asked curiously. "It's late. Even for you."
"Again, I would point out that you're still here," Lisbon reminded him, flashing back to their earlier conversation.
"Yes, well... That's different," Jane said indulgently.
"Why?" she asked, leaning back into her chair.
She could hear his grin. "It is."
Lisbon sighed. Jane could be impossible when he was in this mood. "Did you actually have a reason for calling me or are you just bored?" she asked.
"Hmm?" Jane asked, like her question was somehow confusing. Like he didn't know exactly what she was talking about.
"Why are you calling me Jane?" she asked; directness was often the best route at times like this.
"Oh yes," he said, as if he was just remembering her original question, mainly because he knew the tactic would infuriate her. "I thought now would be a good time for you to come up and give me my Christmas present," he explained airily.
Lisbon stared at her phone for a moment. "Excuse me?"
"My Christmas present," Jane repeated cheerfully. "You know Lisbon, the one you have hidden in the bottom left-hand drawer of your desk."
"You... You snooped through my desk!" Lisbon asked in irritation. Sure, he'd done it before, but it'd been a while ago, and she thought she'd made her opinions on his doing that sort of thing very clear since then.
"Lisbon..." Jane said, attempting to correct her assumption.
"Well, then you probably also know what it is so I don't need to bring it up to you," Lisbon continued angrily.
"Probably couldn't help yourself, thinking you're so superior..." she growled, ignoring him.
"LISBON!" Jane shouted to interrupt her rant.
"What?" she snapped.
"I didn't look at it," he explained.
"What?" she asked, this time in surprise.
"My present. I didn't look at it," Jane clarified. "I promise. I just know where you hid it. Your overall body language whenever I was in your office made it rather obvious there was something in that drawer that you didn't want me to see. A Christmas gift was the logical guess."
Lisbon paused, feeling a little foolish. "Oh."
"You didn't need to get me a Christmas gift," Jane told her affectionately.
Lisbon ran a hand through her hair, "I know."
Jane grinned. "So are you going to come up and give it to me?" he asked.
"Why should I come up there?" she asked.
"Because I asked nicely," Jane explained.
"No you didn't!" she said indignantly.
Jane's grin widened. "Would you please come up and give me my Christmas gift, please, Lisbon?" he asked overly-earnestly.
Lisbon felt the corners of her mouth quirking up into a smile. But he wasn't there to see it, so it was okay. "Weren't you just down here?" she asked curiously. "I thought I heard you in the break room?"
"That's because I was just in the break room," Jane confirmed.
Lisbon rolled her eyes, "So why didn't you..."
"Because you have to come up here," Jane interrupted.
"I don't see why," Lisbon said.
"Because I don't want to exchange Christmas gifts in your office. Like it's work," Jane explained patiently.
"Why would that make it seem like..." Lisbon started to ask. Then she paused. "Wait a minute, you said exchange. You got me a Christmas gift?" she double-checked.
"Of course I got you a Christmas gift Lisbon," Jane said, a hint of genuine irritation in his voice. "I'm surprised you're even asking."
Lisbon muttered something about her birthday.
"I got you a birthday present!" Jane reminded her. "It was just late. Renting ponies takes time you know."
"Actually I don't," Lisbon informed him, "Having never felt the need to rent a pony myself."
"Well now you do know, should you ever need to rent one in the future," Jane said helpfully.
"So you're coming up now right?" her consultant asked, leading the conversation back to the actual purpose of his call.
"You're not going to stop bothering me until I agree, are you?" Lisbon surmised.
"I think you already know the answer to that," Jane smirked.
He sighed exaggeratedly. "Please Lisbon," he asked.
Lisbon knew when she was beaten. She mentally cursed Jane for knowing it too. "Oh fine," she agreed. "But this had better not be some stupid prank."
"Great!" Jane said, his tone cheerful again. "Bring my gift for you up too while you're at it, would you?"
Lisbon paused in confusion, "Your..."
"I thought I'd stick it in beside your gift for me," Jane explained. "For safekeeping."
Lisbon wondered for perhaps the millionth time whether Jane did this sort of thing for fun, or whether he actually thought his ideas were logical. She suspected it was the former. "I'm sorry?"
"I didn't peek at my present when I put it in there Lisbon," Jane reassured her. "I promise. You'll find it still wrapped exactly as it always was. I just put your gift beside it. To keep it company."
Lisbon opened her drawer. Sure enough there was a second box in there now. Who knows when he'd even snuck it in there. "You've got to be kidding me," she muttered.
"See you in a minute Lisbon." Jane said cheerfully as he hung up the phone. "And no peeking!"
Less than a minute later Lisbon was standing outside the door of the attic, both presents under her arm. She slid open the door and stepped inside.
"Alright Jane, here I..." she started to say in mild irritation.
That was when she got a good look at the attic.
Let out a quiet gasp then blinked.
"Ah you're here," Jane said as he opened his eyes and made a big show of stretching as he stood up, pretending he was just waking up. When Lisbon didn't reply right away he gestured absently at his surroundings. "I got bored," he explained.
Lisbon just stared, trying to figure out something appropriate to say. The attic had changed.
It was... it was...
It looked like the Christmas Section of a craft store had exploded up there.
Okay, maybe not exactly. But as close as you could come with less than twenty-four hours notice. Jane had managed to string garlands up everywhere. And there were Christmas lights, and bows, and even one of those little tiny artificial light-up trees. Not to mention the odd image of a snowman, or some holly, plus a pair of reindeer. He'd draped festive-coloured plastic all over all the less-than-attractive crap that was already up there and had even managed to find something to play Christmas music on in the background.
She turned to Jane, "Bored?" she asked, an incredulous smile starting to bloom on her face.
Jane shrugged. "You were being a Grinch. No one should be that ambivalent on Christmas."
"I wasn't being a Grinch!" she insisted. She hadn't been. She'd been perfectly, and seasonably pleasant. She just hadn't planned anything big. Like she'd said, nothing wrong with a quiet Christmas. Especially if you were spending it alone.
Jane shook his head, "Maybe not," he admitted. "But I don't like the idea of you not doing anything."
"You weren't celebrating either," she reminded him, for what felt like the millionth time.
He gently took the two gifts from her, brushing a finger across her wrist in the process. "Now I am."
Lisbon stared at him, understanding beginning to dawn on her. "Oh."
Jane glanced away, uncharacteristically and noticeably self-conscious, "I know it's a little over the top..."
"Maybe..." Lisbon agreed slowly, as she looked around the attic again. It was over the top. Completely insane and unnecessary really. And she couldn't help grinning. It was sweet in its over-the-topness, much like Jane himself occasionally.
"But then I figured, it's only once a year," Jane explained, setting the gifts by their make-shift tree. "Why not?"
"Where did you? I mean..." Lisbon ducked her head before glancing up at him, biting her lip slightly. "When?"
"Today," he explained with a shrug, the fleeting self-consciousness seeming to slide off his shoulders at the same time. "It was a slow day. I have hot chocolate too. Which is what I was making downstairs a minute ago, I might add. I wasn't getting tea like you incorrectly assumed."
Lisbon looked over in the direction he indicated. Sure enough there were two mugs sitting on a table, still steaming slightly. "You made hot chocolate..." she whispered.
"With the mini marshmallows," Jane explained.
Lisbon took a sharp breath. "Jane... I..." She didn't seem to know what to say.
But because it was Jane, he knew what she meant anyway. He brushed a hand across her shoulder. "Merry Christmas Teresa," he said softly.
"Merry Christmas..." she repeated just as softly, blinking quickly. She turned away, hoping he wouldn't notice.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"I'm fine," she assured him, horrified to hear the break in her own voice. She needed to get it together. Now.
"Your hot chocolate should be cool enough to drink by now," Jane said, deliberately changing the subject.
Lisbon sent him a quick half-smile as she grabbed the mug, "Oh, yeah."
Jane reached for his own mug a second afterwards.
Lisbon turned to him, smiling more normally now though her eyes were still a bit shiny. "Cheers." Clinking her mug against his, she settled onto one of the few chairs in the attic, now covered with a bright red sheet.
Jane settled into the other, this one temporarily green. "So," he said after a moment.
"So," Lisbon repeated, hiding her grin behind her mug.
Jane glanced discretely at his impromptu tree. "You want to open presents now?" he asked hopefully. Lisbon thought he may have even been slightly excited.
Lisbon chuckled. "Well, it is why I came up here," she reminded him dryly.
Jane grinned and grabbed the gifts. He handed her the smaller of the two boxes. "Ladies first," he explained.
Lisbon smirked and took her present. Setting her hot chocolate down, she started to peel back the wrapping paper at one of the corners.
Jane let out an exaggerated sigh. "Oh come on Lisbon!" he exclaimed. "You can't fool me. You know you just want to rip the paper off. There's no one here but the two of us. And I promise I haven't set up a hidden video camera so I can shock people with your secret love of tearing off wrapping paper. Just do it."
Lisbon grinned. She ripped the paper off and stuck the large silver bow on Jane's head before he could object.
He gritted his teeth, trying to conceal his own smile in favour of sending her a mock glare.
Shoulders shaking slightly with silent laughter, Lisbon turned back to her box. Her forehead creased in confusion. If she didn't know any better she'd say it looked like... but, he wouldn't. Would he?
She took off the lid as she gasped softly. She glanced up at Jane, who was watching her intently. Lisbon turned her attention back to the box in her hands. "Jane," she said eventually. "It's beautiful."
"I thought you'd like it," he admitted, not taking his eyes off of her.
Lisbon stared at the bracelet of delicate, intertwining silver threads, twisted and threaded through various dark green beads made of glass. At least that's what she was assuming they were made of. They certainly caught the light. She fingered the metal gently. She hadn't expected anything like this. She didn't buy a lot of jewellery for herself. With her job she couldn't comfortably wear it anyway. But that was the sort of practicality that Jane would never consider. Her lips curved back into a grin, one that she didn't care that he saw. After all, there was no denying the bracelet was awfully pretty.
"Why don't you try it on," Jane suggested hopefully.
Lisbon sighed wistfully, "Jane... I..."
He cut her off, knowing what she was going to say. "Don't worry Lisbon, it's not ridiculously expensive," he assured her. "You don't need to feel uncomfortable about accepting it; I promise."
Lisbon bit her lip, before taking the bracelet out of its box. Maybe she could... Just this once... "Help me put it on?" she asked after a minute. "It's always hard one-handed."
Jane smiled and reached over to help her with the clasp. After fastening it he watched her quietly over his mug of hot chocolate, pleased when he saw her spinning the bracelet on her wrist, examining it in pure feminine delight. "It looks good on you," he told her.
Lisbon nodded absently, still playing with her new toy. "I like it," she admitted. "Thank you."
"Can I open my present now?" Jane asked hopefully, like an excited school-boy.
Lisbon's attention shifted away from her bracelet and back to her companion. "Of course," she told him indulgently, enjoying this temporarily carefree Jane.
Jane grinned before ripping the paper off his own present. Smiling he pulled out a navy-blue knit scarf and matching hat. "Is this your way of telling me I need to wear more seasonably appropriate clothing?" he asked affectionately.
"You do need to wear more layers when it's cold enough," Lisbon told him. "If it's cold enough that I can see your breath at a crime scene then you should probably be wearing a scarf, Jane," she explained.
"It's California," Jane muttered.
"It can still get pretty cold some of the time," she reminded him.
Jane shook his head as he examined his gift more closely. He frowned. "Lisbon..."
"Yeah?" she prompted, feeling nervous.
"These look hand-made," he muttered, as he fingered the wool's slightly uneven gauge.
"That's because they are hand-made," she said lightly.
Jane stared at her.
"I like having something to do with my hand while I watch TV," she defended self-consciously. "And it makes a good Christmas gift," she explained.
"It does," Jane agreed. "I'm assuming the Lisbon boys are accumulating a collection?" he surmised, fishing for information.
Lisbon shrugged. "Not really," she admitted. "I made my brothers all scarves last year, but I don't want to do it every year. Too repetitive. And I sent my nieces and nephews mittens a couple of years ago."
"I'm surprised Cho didn't get a scarf with his books," Jane remarked innocently.
Lisbon started muttering something about time constraints as she avoided his eyes.
Jane's smile widened. In other words he was the only one receiving hand-knit outerwear this year. No one else. He removed the bow still stuck to his head and replaced it with the hat. Then he wrapped the scarf around his neck. "Well," he said. "What do you think? Is it my colour?"
Lisbon looked at him and laughed. "Very fetching," she told him. She'd thought the navy would make his eyes look bluer.
"Excellent," Jane said grinning at her. "Thank you Lisbon," he said sincerely.
Jane took the hat off his head. It was far too hot for it in the attic, though he left the scarf on. It was... cozy. "Bet they have more use for the scarves back in Chicago," he said after a minute.
"Yeah, so?" Lisbon asked.
"Just making an observation," Jane said lightly. "My scarf will last longer, less use."
"Well, this bracelet isn't exactly tackle-friendly," Lisbon pointed out. It was lovely, but she certainly couldn't wear it to work most days.
"Very little is tackle-friendly," Jane shot back. "Besides various forms of protective equipment of course."
"I'm just saying," Lisbon said, carefully concealing her smile. "For all that you keep making fun of my gift, yours is at least as impractical."
Her poke hit home. She watched Jane draw his righteous indignation around him and prepare to send it her way. "I'm not making fun of your gift!" he complained. "I like your gift very much. I would point out I'm still wearing the scarf you gave me, even though it's probably not necessary in this stuffy attic."
"I'm still wearing your gift too," Lisbon interjected.
"That's not the point," Jane growled. "The point is that I like my hat. I was just pointing out that I won't be able to wear it all the time. It'll be for special occasions. Which is fine. After all, I've always thought that Christmas gifts should be more about what you want than what you need."
"So you wanted a knit hat and scarf set?" Lisbon asked, deliberately provoking.
"I may have," Jane told her. "If I'd thought of it. And this isn't just any hat and scarf set. It's hand-knit."
"It is," she agreed calmly.
"And another thing..." Jane paused to catch his breath. Then his eyes narrowed, "Lisbon, are you laughing at me?"
"Never," she told him with a shake of her head, before curling deeper into her chair and burying her nose back in her hot chocolate to hide the grin on her face.
"Yes you are," Jane said, a grudging smirk on his face. "You knew what I meant the whole time. You, Teresa Lisbon, were toying with me."
"I was not," she denied easily.
"Yes you were," he said. "Deliberately provoking me. I try and do a nice thing, make things a little festive for you on Christmas Eve, try to help you have a little fun..."
"Who says provoking you isn't fun?" Lisbon wondered.
"You deliberately misled me," Jane added, ignoring her question. "And so soon after you promised never to lie to me again."
"I didn't lie to you," she pointed out.
"Not technically," Jane said significantly.
"And, you're one to talk about deliberately misleading people," Lisbon scoffed.
"And half the time you yell at me when I do it," Jane pointed out.
"When we`re on a case!" Lisbon clarified. "That's also usually about when you tell me to loosen up and stop following the rules all the time. Then, if I ever do, you act like I kicked your puppy. Sometimes you're nothing but a big baby."
"Oh, I'm a big baby am I?" Jane asked, more surprised than anything.
"Yes," she nodded.
"Am I?" he repeated, deliberately letting another layer of annoyance seep into his voice.
"That's what I said," Lisbon confirmed.
Jane stared at her for a second. "Well, you're just mean," he said after a pause.
"Ha!" Lisbon scoffed.
Jane shook his head, "Mean and cruel, woman."
Lisbon smirked. "Oh just drink your hot chocolate."
"You drink your hot chocolate," he mimicked. "Next time I'm not giving you extra marshmallows."
Lisbon smirked. "Sure you're not."
Jane turned back to his own hot chocolate, his face blank as he feigned annoyance. He tossed one tail of his scarf over his shoulder theatrically.
Lisbon was unfazed. She knew he was enjoying himself as much as she was. She shuffled in her chair again, and tried to get the last marshmallow from her hot chocolate in as dignified a way as possible. It didn't end up being particularly dignified at all, but at least she didn't end up with half-melted marshmallow on her nose.
"Jane," she said after a minute, deciding she'd given him enough time to get over his fake temper-tantrum.
"Are you really going to spend Christmas up here?" she asked hesitantly.
He shrugged. "Dunno," he admitted. "Maybe."
She sighed, "Jane..."
"What?" he asked innocently. "At least it's a festive attic now."
"Even I'm not coming in tomorrow," she pointed out.
"So I don't like the idea of you spending Christmas Day up here alone," Lisbon explained.
"What would you recommend I do instead," Jane asked curiously.
"Spend it at my place," Lisbon offered impulsively.
Jane blinked in surprise, though he was also oddly pleased. "That's very sweet, Lisbon," he said after a moment. "But you don't need to feel obligated..."
"Oh, don't be an idiot," she told him. "That's not why I asked you."
"It's not?" Jane repeated sceptically.
"No," she insisted. "Well, not exactly. Come on. What're you going to do here? Sit and brood? I'm not going to do anything special. Just lay around on my couch watching Christmas specials for half the day I'd imagine. If we're both just sitting it around, we may as well do it together." She really wasn't sure what she was doing at this point. She was pretty much winging it after her impromptu invitation. But for some reason the idea of spending the holiday with Jane was starting to sound kind of good.
She watched him closely. He wasn`t looking directly at her, choosing to stare ever so slightly to one side, a sure sign he was thinking it over. She knew he was poring over her potential motivations, and potential repercussions. She knew he`d have trouble letting go of the Red John case, especially on a day usually devoted to family. Even if it was just the one day. She saw him frown slightly and open his mouth to almost certainly turn down her offer.
Then, to Lisbon`s surprise, Jane hesitated.
Lisbon sensed her advantage in his pause. "Please Jane," she asked. "I'd feel much better knowing where you were."
"Otherwise you'll just worry about what I'm up to?" Jane asked with a smirk.
"Exactly," Lisbon confirmed. "Who knows what you'll get up to all day unsupervised." She'd worry all day. Not because she thought he'd do anything, but because she didn't like the idea of him all alone, without even holiday television specials to cheer him up.
Jane hemmed and hawed a little bit more. "I don't know," he told her. "I doubt your apartment is as well decorated as my attic."
Lisbon shrugged. "It's not," she admitted. "But if you want we can take some of the decorations there now. You're better off spending the night on my couch anyway. At least it pulls out. And I definitely have a better tree." She did. Like the one he`d found for the attic, hers was artificial, but it was less, well, less commercial looking than Jane's. And it was a little bigger. Though his was kind of cute, in an ugly sort of a way.
"Hey!" Jane objected, defending his admittedly sad little plastic tree. "You try finding a good tree on less than twenty-four hours notice!"
"It's a lovely tree," Lisbon assured him. "Like Charlie Brown's I'm sure it just needs a little love. And all of this was actually very sweet. So come on, let me return the favour. We can decorate my apartment together." That might actually be fun. She hadn't bothered to put up much this year. Hadn't felt there was much point. But if she had someone to decorate with...
Jane stared at the wall again for a moment, genuinely torn.
"I just bought a special Christmas-themed tea," Lisbon wheedled, knowing she'd already won. "I think it has peppermint and something else in it."
She watched Jane exhale slowly in defeat. "Alright," he agreed with a soft smile. "I guess we can take the decorations to your apartment. If you want. I'm glad you're feeling so festive all of a sudden Lisbon, he said, all-smiles again. "Why don't I get the lights?"
With that he bounded over to the corner, unplugged some of the lights and started unstringing them from the wall. Lisbon followed and tapped him lightly on the shoulder.
"You really did a nice job with the decorations Jane," she told him.
"Like I said," he replied, deliberately focussing on his string of lights. "I was bored."
"Of course," Lisbon agreed.
Jane turned towards her to ask her for help with a stubborn light that'd gotten caught somehow, when something caught his eye. "Uh oh," he said cheerfully.
"What?" Lisbon asked, suddenly suspicious.
Jane pointed upwards.
Lisbon followed his finger with her eyes. "Is that mistletoe?" she asked in amused disbelief.
"Yup," Jane confirmed.
Lisbon rolled her eyes. "Were you expecting any other guests to your little holiday party in the attic?"
"Nope," Jane said.
Lisbon smirked. "Then why, may I ask, did you decide to hang mistletoe?"
Jane gasped. "Lisbon! It's tradition."
"Of course," she said with a shake of her head.
He looked at her nervously and shrugged a shoulder. "It's tradition," he repeated softly as he placed a hand on her cheek and gently kissed her.
Lisbon sighed as he pulled away and briefly rested her forehead against his. "We should get started on those decorations," she whispered after a minute.
"Yeah," Jane agreed, squeezing her shoulder briefly.
She brushed her fingers through his in response. "Where do you want me to start?" she asked.
"Why not grab the garlands?" Jane asked.
"Okay," Lisbon agreed.
They worked in a silence that was surprisingly comfortable. "Alright," Jane said after a moment. "We probably have enough to sufficiently decorate your apartment. Wouldn't want to go overboard."
"Of course not," Lisbon agreed. "You're all about the subtle."
"I better start loading this in the car," Jane added, cheerfully ignoring her comment as he hauled an armful of decorations out the door.
"I'm right behind you," Lisbon said absently, hesitating for a moment in the attic.
She glanced around surreptitiously before slipping the mistletoe into her coat pocket.
After all, it was tradition.
Fluffety fluffety fluffety fluff
And Happy (admittedly early) holidays.