Because the best part of last night's ep was easily the scene between Rigsby and Lisbon in her office.
As always, I own nothing.
For forthecoast, just because.
Kith and Kin
Rigsby sat down heavily at his desk. What a day. Between dealing with the sorry excuse for a man who called himself his father and Van Pelt's wedding, it'd been draining. At the moment Rigsby was just keeping his fingers crossed that he'd actually manage to get some closure now, on either issue. He supposed he should just head home, but he didn't particularly want to so he figured why not finish up some paperwork. He ran a hand over his face tiredly, wincing when he hit his cheek.
Great. On top of it all, he was probably well on his way to getting a massive bruise on his face.
"You should really put some ice on that," he heard a female voice tell him in a tone that somehow managed to be both abrupt and gentle.
Rigsby glanced up guiltily, thankful that at least his unexpected visitor wasn't Van Pelt. He wasn't quite up to dealing with Grace's concern at the moment.
"I'm fine, Boss," he told Teresa Lisbon, who was apparently also still in the building.
Lisbon shook her head slightly, walked over to his desk, tilted his head up slightly (after lightly swatting his hand away), and held an ice pack against his cheek. "That where it hurts?" she asked.
Rigsby winced slightly at the cold against his already tender face, "Yeah," he admitted.
She nodded. "You should keep the ice on it, might keep the bruising down, and hopefully it won't swell," she said, handing him the icepack.
"Fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes off," Rigsby repeated by rote. He definitely knew the drill.
Lisbon smirked. "So why weren't you doing it?" she asked perching on the corner of his desk to better inspect his wound he supposed.
"Hadn't gotten around to it I guess," Rigsby told her. Or maybe he hadn't wanted to be bothered., hadn't quite been ready to acknowledge that the left side of his face felt a bit like it was on fire.
Lisbon frowned. "You need to take care of these things," she admonished.
Rigsby barely suppressed an eye-roll at that. This from the woman who tried her best to run around the office immediately after spraining an ankle. If there hadn't been rules against it, Rigsby secretly suspected she'd have tried to go out in the field on crutches.
"Tilt your head a bit more," Lisbon ordered, as she took over medical duties again to reposition the ice-pack she'd wrapped in a tea towel. She absentmindedly ran the tips of her fingers through his hair afterwards as she pushed it out of the way.
Rigsby had to admit that having someone fuss over him a bit was nice. Even if Lisbon's version of fussing was as practical as the rest of her. The sarcasm would probably be starting any second now.
Rigsby looked at his boss as surreptitiously as possible. She was completely focussed on the task at hand. She was so focussed in fact, that Wayne couldn't help wondering if she was deliberately avoiding his eyes. It would make an odd kind of sense; Teresa Lisbon always tried to hide her concern and affection for her team, and it always leaked out at the most unexpected of moments.
Right now she was definitely concerned. That wasn't surprising.
What was surprising was the fact that she was tending to him at all. Rigsby wouldn't have thought she was the type to play nursemaid, though like everything else she did, she was definitely competent.
"You seem to know your way around an icepack there, Boss," he said lightly.
Lisbon shrugged. "I had three younger brothers," she reminded him lightly. "I've had lots of practice with these types of situations."
Rigsby eyes widened at the woman who was still perched on his desk. He'd definitely heard the rumours about her family life, but Lisbon wasn't actually implying what he thought she was implying, was she? After all, she knew about his father, and she had to at least suspect how he'd gotten the bruise.
"Not really any personal experience though," Lisbon continued, her tone deceptively light. "One of the few benefits to being the only female in the house, I guess."
Oh God. That was exactly what she was implying. Rigsby reminded himself to blink (and breathe). He didn't know how to deal with this. This was completely uncharted territory for him, possibly for both of them. It was absolutely unheard of for Lisbon to talk about her family. Ever. There were also rumours that Jane might know a thing or two, but Rigsby'd never brought the topic up; he respected Lisbon's r privacy too much (and let's face it, she could be a little scary sometimes). He'd never really considered that Lisbon might actually understand (his hands curled into fists at the image of a teenage Teresa Lisbon trying to stand between a handful of younger brothers and a father nearly as dangerous as Rigsby Sr.).
No. Rigsby'd definitely never thought she'd actually want to talk about it. To anyone, let alone him.
"You didn't ask me what happened," he said after a moment, his voice low.
Lisbon shrugged again. "Don't ask a question you already know the answer to."
"We do that in interrogations sometimes," Rigsby reminded her. "To test if a suspect's lying."
"And are you lying to me Rigsby?" Lisbon asked with a hint of a smile as she finally met his eyes.
"No," he assured her immediately. He hated lying to his boss. He'd done it more than once, but it was rare almost always by omission. And he always told her the truth, when he could.
He watched the corners of her mouth turn up into a more obvious smile. "Exactly."
Rigsby felt an unbelievable rush of gratitude towards the woman still hovering over him, firmly holding the ice pack in place. Before he'd joined law enforcement he'd been used to a world of violence and lies. The only way of getting any respect was by beating it into someone. It was a world he hated, and a tendency he always tried to suppress in himself. Police work gave him a more constructive way to get rid of some of his extra aggression along with providing the support system he'd always craved.
Joining her team had kind of taken the latter to another level.
Teresa Lisbon was a bit of a mother bear. And apparently she'd decided one of her cubs needed a little bit of extra coddling.
Part of him resented the implication that he might need protection, but part of him was grateful.
It was nice to know that there was someone who'd always have his back, and not because he'd beaten that "loyalty" into them.
On days like these, Rigsby sometimes forgot that not everyone lived in his father's world, that he didn't live in his father's world.
He'd gotten out. He was one of the good guys. Just like she was.
"Thanks Boss," he mumbled.
"People don't have to become their parents, Wayne," Lisbon said softly as if she was reading his mind. "Some of us definitely don't," she added, in a tone that clearly conveyed that he'd better not disagree. And that in fact, if Rigsby continued to have doubts about himself, she would probably consider it a personal insult, or worse, a subtle implication that she might share some of her own father's qualities (an implication that would probably lead to her verbally lambasting him before assigning him to desk duty for the next three months).
Rigsby knew he needed to tread extremely carefully here. He still couldn't believe he was having this conversation at all. "No," he said finally. "Some of us definitely don't. Though I guess we can't help worrying."
Lisbon sent him an almost tragic smile of understanding and approval. "You don't need to worry," she assured him with a squeeze on the shoulder, suddenly very interested in checking the placement of the ice pack.
"That's what Van Pelt said," he admitted.
"Always knew she was more than just a pretty face," Lisbon said lightly.
Rigsby grinned softly.
"It's part of the reason I picked her for my team," Lisbon added. "She's smart, even if she can be a little…"
"Optimistic?" Rigsby suggested dryly, remembering some of Van Pelt's earlier attempts to cheer him up. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate the thought, but her well-intentioned but unrealistic platitudes really weren't helpful.
"That's as good a word as any," Lisbon agreed.
Rigsby smirked, deciding to change the subject slightly. "Hey boss, you're pretty too." That comment earned him a swat in the arm, but he pressed on, this time a little more seriously. "Is that why you picked Van Pelt, saw something of yourself in her and wanted to give her a chance?"
Lisbon swatted him again. But she didn't deny it.
"It's hard not to want to help people you see a part of yourself in," she reminded him. "Jane could probably tell you why. And anyway, Van Pelt's not the only person I handpicked for my team."
Rigsby tried to look away, but she held his chin in place. "You think I don't know how ostracizing it can be?" she asked harshly. "You think I'm going to judge you?"
He didn't reply.
"It wasn't your fault, Rigsby," Lisbon told him firmly.
"I know," he muttered.
"There was nothing you could have done," she added, her tone softening. "You were just a kid."
"I know," he assured her a little more loudly this time.
"Good," she said, her tone clipped and businesslike again.
"Boss?" he hesitated.
"Hm?" she hummed, busy checking his cheek for signs of a bruise.
"It wasn't your fault either," he assured her.
She abruptly dipped her head. And Rigsby wondered if he'd gone too far.
He heard her take a deep breath and he braced himself for the worst. But when she raised her chin it wasn't there, just that same sad smile. "I really wish I could tell you that made it better."
This time it was his turn to smile. "I know," he said a third time. He knew she'd have done anything she could to fix things. As it was, all she could do was hold an icepack against the aftermath.
"Look," Lisbon said awkwardly. "I know I'm not always the most approachable, or the most communicative maybe, but if you ever wanted to talk…"
"Yeah?" Rigsby exhaled.
"Course," his boss assured him with an exaggerated shrug. "I mean, no pressure…"
"Right," he agreed awkwardly. He genuinely had no idea how to deal with this. Of course she would offer to talk. Even though it would probably be excruciatingly uncomfortable for her.
"And y'know, Boss," Rigsby added, suddenly realizing that he wasn't the only one who carried secret family burdens.. "I know you probably don't… but if you ever wanted to… You know, the same…"
She nodded sharply, but didn't say anything. It wasn't surprising; he'd known it was a long shot, but he'd still had to offer.
"You're not unapproachable," Rigsby said after a minute.
"You're not unapproachable," he repeated. "A little intimidating sometimes maybe, but not…"
"You were nervous in my office yesterday," Lisbon reminded him.
Rigsby shook his head. "Not because of that," he insisted as he desperately tried to explain the issue. "I didn't want you to think that I'd… That I was... With my Dad, it's always been... People who know about him hear Rigsby and they think that I'm... I didn't want you to think... You're the best boss I've ever had."
"You idiot," she all but growled.
"I guess," Rigsby mumbled.
Lisbon made further noises of annoyance, and was only apparently able to relieve her feelings in the end by slapping him on the arm and muttering a litany of half-sentences. "Like I would ever… ashamed…. Good agent…. Trust you… My team… Idiot…"
Rigsby could only stare at her as she worked through her burst of irritation. Before this evening he'd never thought about how his family situation might have been similar to hers. He'd never thought they'd ever have much in common. She was Teresa Lisbon, Agent extraordinaire. She was practically untouchable. He'd always thought he was just the affable giant on her team, the one she certainly liked, but had no particularly strong feelings about. Obviously he was an idiot.
Her affectionate scolding whenever he raided the junk food in the fridge, ordering Cho to drive him home two years ago when he'd caught the flu, the teasing sarcasm (which he realized now, he'd never seen her do much with anyone else, at least not the same way), the semi-hidden pride in her eyes whenever he ran down a suspect, the indulgent smiles when she stopped at McDonald's after a stakeout. It was all beginning to take on a different meaning in his brain. Especially when he added to that, the fact that the woman was still holding an ice pack against his face, something she'd done time and again for her younger brothers.
Rigsby'd never had a big sister to look out for him. He'd certainly known that Lisbon felt far more than she tried to let on. She obviously had extensive personal defence mechanisms. He understood why, now more than ever. It was humbling that she'd lowered them, for him.
Because, from what he understood, big sisters always protected their little brothers, no matter how much they teased.
Rigsby closed his eyes. "He's ashamed of me you know," he admitted, abruptly cutting off her continued mutterings.
If he'd been able to meet his boss' eyes he'd have seen the sad sympathy in them. "He doesn't know what he's talking about," she said gently.
"Oh," Rigsby said. "I know there's nothing I can do about it. I can kind of even accept it. It is the way it is. I just wish it wasn't that way."
"I know," Lisbon said, resting a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah," he sighed. "I got into a fistfight with my father tonight," he told her, wondering if saying it out loud would make a difference.
"And now you might have a huge bruise to show for it," Lisbon informed him, checking under the ice pack again.
"Yeah. At least he put the knife down before it started," Rigsby added, in an attempt to look on the bright side.
Lisbon obviously didn't see it that way. "Swell guy," she said through gritted teeth.
Rigsby let out a bark of laughter. "For him that's basically the equivalent of fair fight. Even if he did sucker punch me."
"Tell me you kicked his ass," Lisbon said, her tone angry.
Rigsby shrugged. "I got him on the ground, but then I couldn't, wouldn't finish it."
"Atta boy," Lisbon murmured.
"Dad wasn't impressed," Rigsby said dryly.
"I am. And he's just lucky I wasn't there," Lisbon bit out.
Based on her tone, Rigsby had a sneaky suspicion that if she had been his father probably would have been walking away with her handcuffs around his wrists.
He'd be lying if part of him wouldn't love to see his father taken down by a woman a fraction of his size. (In his fantasy Van Pelt joined in, just because his arrogant, chauvinistic father would never be able to get over the insult, as he'd perceive it, of two women beating the crap out of him.)
Lisbon certainly would have delivered the takedown with flair.
But it probably wasn't worth the effort.
And he told her so.
"Hmph." Lisbon said. "I guess you're right."
"Thanks though," Rigsby told her. "For having my back."
"Of course," she replied. Like the Teresa Lisbon brand of unfailing loyalty was a common characteristic. Like it was a given in life. "If you ever need anything…" she offered again.
"Like an ice pack held against my face for fifteen minutes?" Rigsby joked.
She smirked. "Well, you weren't sensible enough to do it yourself. Though you're right, I guess it has been close to fifteen minutes now," she added, lowering the ice pack, and standing up.
"Thanks," Rigsby told her.
Lisbon shrugged, obviously slightly embarrassed, and stepped away from the desk waving her hand dismissively. "It's no problem," she told him. He could practically see her shields going back up. "Anyway, I should get going. Don't stay too late yourself," she ordered gently.
"I won't," he promised her.
"Okay," she said, as she headed towards the door. "And, y'know, remember what I said."
"Hey Boss?" he called to her just before she reached the doorway
"Yeah," she asked, turning around.
"You know that it goes both ways right?" he said softly.
Lisbon raised an eyebrow.
Somewhat daunted, Rigsby plowed on awkwardly, "The whole, team thing. If you ever need anything…" he finished softly. "Anything at all, you know that I'd… that we'd…"
She sent in him the same self-conscious smile he'd been seeing versions of all evening, but this time she actually looked pleased. "I know," she assured him eventually. "But thanks."
With that she was out the room, but Rigsby heard her voice calling from down the hall. "And keep going with the ice. If you come in tomorrow with a swollen face, I'm kicking your ass up and down the block myself."
"Yes Boss," Rigsby whispered softly. He even checked his watch so he knew what time to reapply the ice pack.
Otherwise he'd have to deal with an irate and overprotective Teresa Lisbon, angry that her protective measures had been ignored.
And he didn't want to upset the woman. Not because he was afraid of the punishment, but because he didn't want to disappoint her.
He liked her. He wanted her to like him, be proud of him.
Which was something that might actually be achievable in her case.
Since neither of them had become their fathers.
I heart my Rigsby.