Authors note: Ok so I'm aware that I am supposed to be working on Here Without You but I'm suffering from some writers block. I sat down determined to write a chapter and this came about instead. It was inspired by this weeks episode and my own rather disastrous run in with Absinthe and this idea kinda of came to me.
Disclaimer: I don't own it.
The C.B.I. Christmas party was in full swing when Patrick Jane arrived. He was late due to his indecision as to whether or not he would come at all. He was a dark tormented soul, hell bent on revenge, he was a lone wolf, a single entity, an Island. Therefore the partaking in festivities was the last thing he would do, or so he told himself.
For the past month he had decided to avoid all the holiday's usual fare, he was just done with it all. This year he was a murderer and yet still no closer to finding retribution or revenge. Thus he would get on with his life as normal, sans Xmas.
Jane thought it would be easily done, the others had never been that bothered by the season, apart from the day itself and Grace was so focused on her actions over the past year, she would surely let her giddy, inner child rest for one Christmas right?... Wrong.
It had started two weeks ago when Grace's bitter, anguished, inner-self, had taken a break from her brooding, to not only redecorate, but to organise a work party.
When Jane questioned her actions, she quickly put him in his place. According to her, it was Christmas and 'families spend Christmas together. They put aside everything, to show their love for each other and Goddamnit, they are her family here, whether they liked it or not'.
So disappeared the malcontent, introspective Grace, replaced by the fairy light obsessed, sparkles and Santa covered Grace. She had proceeded to make their work space and hallways look like a tinsel, glitter and bauble shop had exploded, and taken the whole building with it.
Once one floor had surrendered to the dratted holiday 'cheer', a domino effect had occurred and within a day nowhere was safe. Even the stoic, reliable, grinch Cho, was sporting a garland across his desk and reading 'A Christmas Carol'. He had no allies left.
In an effort to escape the false cheer that was being rammed down his throat, he had fled to his inner sanctum, it was there he had lost all hope. On entry he had felt his throat restrict, someone had spray painted icicles on the windows, hung decorations and put a mini tree in his attic, theanimals.
He would like to pretend that it was the loss of his family that had scrooged his view of the season, but no, even with an excited little girl, he had never taken to the holiday. Sure he put on a brave face, decorated, bought presents, but blessed Angela had done her best to minimise his involvement.
The whole season took him back to his childhood. The gaudy lights, the hanging of fake effigies, the pretend cheer. It irked him the falseness of it all, the lies and deception, it made every city, street and home resemble the carnival where he grew up.
The shops twinned the stalls he used to help set up, from their warm luminescence, designed to call out to the masses, making them spend money they don't have. The decorations that enticed people into a false high, creating a beautiful surface to hide the dirty worn layer below.
Oh and the colours, so bright, so resplendent, changing the mundane into magical, but what it really was was just distraction. Sure most people saw all these combine to make a regular space into a place where all their negative thoughts are left behind.
Jane knew the truth, the night might have been beautiful, charming and ethereal but the day after, like January, reality hits and your wallet is empty like your heart. It had killed him to join the masses and sell his little girl a false idol to worship. He felt dirty about the whole thing and it reminded him of the lies he told to other young girls.
He sighed breaking from his reverie. Well, knowing that it was the Ops team no doubt that did this, it would only be made worse if he touched it, so he figured a strategic retreat was in order. Any sign of weakness would be exploited, so instead he would go too the only other place he could seek sanctuary.
On entry to his haven, he stopped short, she had succumbed to the madness. A tree stood near Lisbon's desk, a few garlands were draped around the room and Lisbon was stood precariously on a chair at her window, spraying snow on the panes. She wouldn't he thought, she couldn't do that, not to him not too his attic, yet he felt some doubt.
He approached quietly, debating internally as to whether she would or not.
"Having fun" he enquired suspiciously.
Lisbon let an unladylike like squeak before slightly losing her footing.
"Jesus Jane, what the hell, I could have hurt myself" she yelled as she righted herself and climbed down, knocking away his offered hand.
"Sorry I thought you heard me" he sheepishly replied. She shot him a glare that spoke loudly that she knew he was full of bull shit.
"So sprayed snow that's new..." he trailed off looking for answers.
"Yeah, I like it very festive, O' Malley from Ops said they had extra decorations and spray cans so he gave them to me. Sweet of him, no?"
She looked at the windows and the lights coming through from the street, a wistful smile knocking years off her face. Figures she would go to the dark side. Oh O' Malley was going to pay big time.
"Very generous indeed, my dear" he forced a smile on his face and lay down on her couch, at least it wasn't too much unlike the bull pen.
He woke up much later, both surprised by the fact that he had slept and that Lisbon hadn't awakened him. It was quite dark in the office except for the glow that was coming from the trees lights. Mercifully, Lisbon had opted for the single coloured lights, far less garish and almost pretty.
He had his answer as to why he was let sleep on, she had not left him, asifthatwouldhappen he mused, instead she had dozed in her chair and by the angle of her body she had fallen asleep watching the lights.
He approached so as not to startle her, taking in the soft glow on her face, the warm light resembled candle light, he softly touched her arm and her eyes fluttered open. Lisbon's green eyes were highlighted by the glow and her features softened, ok so maybe he could appreciate that these lights were pretty, yes they were definitely breathtaking.
She fussed, hiding her embarrassment at falling asleep and got her things together. He watched her by the soft lights thinking back to summers long gone, by lakes with fireflies and a beautiful girl, oh he had better get himself under control and fast.
The following two weeks had flown by the team having gotten through two murder cases, both with their own Christmas themes one involving an elf and the other a present stealing thief who tried to rob the wrong house. He just couldn't escape the damn holiday, so he had told Grace he couldn't make it to Christmas eve party and had planned to spend an evening relaxing with National Geographic. He had assumed that Lisbon would do her own usual 'thanks but no thanks' so was very surprised to hear her accept the invitation.
Grace clarified that it was a red and green theme, mix the colours or wear them separately, but they must be worn. Lisbon had laughed and stated that she had a Red dress that she and looked forward to having an opportunity to wear it, that had peaked his interest, Lisbon rarely wore dresses. His position in the bullpen also allowed him to over hear O' Malley tell a colleague that he looked forward to seeing her in it. He really had to punish that guy.
Yet even the chance off seeing Teresa in a dress and keeping away O' Malley, they were still was not enough to convince him. Nope, it was only after an hour and a half had passed, filled with boring, lonely, Christmas themed, animal shows and the fact he had rung Lisbon's phone twice with no answer, he had begun to regret his decision.
Trying the work phone-line near the party room, he finally got through to someone passing by and asked to speak to Lisbon. The guy said he had no idea who this Lisbon guy was and Jane had to clarify that SHE was a pretty brunette, petite and one of the bosses. The guy said he could see two women who roughly matched that description, one in a green dress and one in red.
"Red, red, she's wearing red, can you get her?" he almost begged. He tried not to question his actions and figured he would come up with something once she was on the phone. He just needed to talk to her, he needed to hear her voice.
"No can do man, she is eh... indisposed, and the only reason I can see her is that from where the phone is I can see into an alcove down the hall. Tough luck mate, the other one is pretty hot wanna talk to her?" He chuckled.
Jane slammed the phone down. His chest constricted and his fists clenched. Oh he was going to kill O' Malley, going where he had no right, plus Lisbon could do better, so much better. He had to go and save her from her mistake before it went too far.
He hated Christmas he thought as he drove, he ignored the songs coming from the radio, blanked out the decorations on the streets and ploughed through the lights, totally focused on his end destination.
He rushed to the party, nodding at security as he ran through. He skidded to a stop at the right floor, he could see people milling around in the conference room, but he only glanced in as he walked down the hall, both unwilling and needing to see Lisbon. He could see two people embracing in the corner. They resembled teenagers in their actions and intensity.
He could only see the back of the woman. Her dress was a wrap dress, cut off at the knee. Her hair, loose and messy as the man ran his fingers through it. He was about to yell when the woman's hair caught the light. Jane froze, Lisbon's hair was a shade darker, he paused to examine the woman further, she was slightly taller than Lisbon and was missing that small freckle behind her knee.
Not to mention that Jane had over the years, indulged in some covert ass appreciation of his surprisingly curvy boss and her rump was far superior, if he did say so himself. Relieved he went searching for his lovely lady boss.
Entering the room, the decor was bright and cheerful, with many food and drink stands, all themed red and green. There was many more green drinks and food than he had believed possible. Van Pelt was nothing if not dedicated.
"Jane" Grace shrieked, before a red dressed blur attacked him, squealing over the music and grabbing him into a hug. Really though had no one respect for personal boundaries any more? Though, perhaps judging by Grace's vice like grip, she may have indulged in some alcohol. Actually, looking around the room, it seemed that everyone had.
The group looked far more relaxed than usual and merging quite successfully. Rigsby and Cho were in separate groups and Jane mocked gasped, was Cho smiling and chit chatting, he was shocked. Though as relaxed as Rigsby was, he was still clearly watching Grace out of the corner of his eye. Jane was glad of his watchful gaze, it meant he didn't have to protect her from the lecherous tax accountants from the third floor.
Once he had disentangled himself from Grace and she had ambled over towards Rigsby, Jane further scanned the room for Lisbon. He finally located her in a far corner in a throng of men, including Wainwright.
She was surrounded and it was only the departure of O' Malley, to get them both drinks, that enabled him to finally spot her. She seemed relaxed and was laughing, while the men captivated, paid all their attention to her.
She looked beautiful, she had put her hair into a messy bun with curled tendrils, framing her face. Her smoky eye was accentuated by a soft pink lip and drop earrings. She was wearing a deep green dress with spaghetti straps, that was rather tight for the normally conservative Lisbon. Well screw lying to himself he was jealous, both of her smiles being offered freely and the looks the men were shooting her.
He marched over to her, creeping up softly behind her. He leaned in towards her, his breath tickling her ear.
"I thought you were wearing red" he whispered, surprising her. He gleefully watched as she jumped.
She turned to him glaring, "And I thought you were staying at home" she replied, quirking her eyebrow.
Jane flashed her a million dollar smile, until she shook her head in resignation, a smile breaking across her face. Jane basked in his receivership of glares from the men. They knew he was possessive and didn't share well. He put his best innocent mask on and took it all in.
"So Jane, not that I'm not glad to see you, but what changed your mind?" Lisbon watched him.
"Oh you know, couldn't let down the lovely Grace" he covered.
"So, you do look ravishing in green my dear but why the change of outfit." He almost verbally attacked two innocent, clandestine lovers because of her whims, and he wanted to know why.
"Grace spilled something on her dress and she only had a red one so she asked if I had a different dress. Matching outfits are a step too far for the serious crime women, why does it matter." Lisbon frowned at him quizzically.
"No reason, no reason at all...drink?" Jane answered.
"Okay... well if you will excuse me I'm going to the bathroom" Lisbon retreated, knowing he was up to something, but really not in the mood to care.
He planned to get rid of the men but after Lisbon's departure they dispersed anyway. Now he was here he may as well enjoy himself. He grabbed a red plastic cup and filled it with a green liquid from a large label-less bottle.
His mouth felt dry from the heat and his earlier rush. He gulped down the contents, the liquid burned and Jane was surprised by the strong anise flavour, strong but tasty.
Lisbon returned about five minutes later but before she could reach him, Rick from Internet Crimes accosted her bringing her up to dance. Jane poured another drink, this time a red concoction, but the taste was far too sweet, still waste not, want not.
Several dances and drinks later Jane was feeling the effects of the alcohol and his mood was lifting. He had tried several of the drinks and some of the food, and despite their Christmas themed colours, they were surprisingly tasty, but he liked the first one best.
He, having had enough of half of the C.B.I staff dancing with Lisbon, sidled over and on a spin from her partner, stepped into her space, lightly capturing her in his arms. They twirled around laughing, the room a swirl of colours, textures and smells. He felt amazing and couldn't remember just why he was against this all.
Jane no longer felt amazing, in fact he felt like his insides were ripped apart then stuffed back down his throat. The sun was rising and it was burning his eyes. Jane went to move on to his side, when someone shifted next to him.
Oh God what had happened last night, actually whathadhappenedlastnight? it was all a blank. This was very disconcerting, he wondered if this was how Lisbon felt when she was drugged. He concentrated on trying to recall anything, any details.
"I can feel you thinking, Jane... you ok?" Lisbon's soft voice asked, her hand lightly touching his arm.
Lisbon he was in bed with Lisbon? shit, shit, shit, why couldn't he remember what had happened last night. He rolled to his side so he was facing her, well that was new, he wasn't wearing a shirt but she was so that's something he guessed...
"Jane, I asked how do you feel? You thirsty? I left water on the table." She was trying hard to conceal the smile that was threatening to split her face, as he gulped down the water and rolled back towards her. Their faces were inches apart.
"Lisbon what happened last night?" he croaked.
"You were enticed by "laféeverte"" she smirked.
"What?" he needed answers, not riddles.
"You drank copious amounts of Absinthe, Jane." Lisbon clarified, her battle withconcealing her smile was lost.
"So Jane, as the rest of us learned in college, one or two shots, not cups, is all you should ever have." Lisbon laughed, an evil sparkle in her eyes. She knew something he could see it.
"I cant rememer anything, did I do something." If he did something bad, hewasn't sure he wanted to hear her answer.
Lisbon shifted lowering her eyes, hiding from him.
"Lisbon... please..." if he hurt her, he felt sick at the thought of the possibility.
Lisbon giggled, looking at him again, mirth in her eyes, a wave of relief washed over him.
"Well... you may have done several magic tricks... including hypnotising Wainwright into hitting on O' Malley." Lisbon chuckled out loud at the memory.
"So, I didn't do anything bad to you..." he clarified.
"Really, dont worry Jane, you were the life and soul of the party." she laughed, "Im just messing with you. This is a lot of fun the great Patrick Jane at my mercy."
Jane propped himself up, looking down on her better, while maintaining their closeness.
"So that was all then, hypnosis?" he was glad of tha,t there was a reason he didn't drink much.
"I didnt say that..."
"Oh woman dont be evil." Jane slumped back down to the pillow.
"Well you may have also sung some Kareoke" Lisbon smirked.
"What, I hate singing." Jane was disgusted.
Lisbon continued ignorng his interruption. "Yup several songs infact, in an Australian accent as well. Oh and beer pong... we all played beer pong, you are a party animal, Jane". Lisbon was gleefully watching his distress.
She had thoruoghly enjoyed the light and bright Jane from last night and getting to tease him about it the next day was just icing.
"This is all terrible, just terrible." Jane drew his hand down over his face.
"Na ah, Serious Crimes won that game and several 50 doller bets to boot. Then there was the dance off..." Lisbon broke off, she was in her element, payback's a bitch and she was also delighted at the profit from last night.
"Dance off, I won a dance off." Jane cried, at least now he knew why his thighs are killing him.
"You, you win it? Oh no, I won that one, hands down" and damn proud she was too it had been years but she's still got it.
"Doing what moves exactly." Jane's eyes regarded her intensly, that was something he'd kill to see.
"Oh you'll never know" Lisbon smiled sweetly.
"Ok so apart from all that, you have nothing else, nothing bad to tell me?" He pleaded, he hated that she knew more than he did.
A shadow passed over her face. No no no, dont let hom have done something, this is why he didn't get involved, this is why he stayed detached.
"Jane, I don't know how to say this" she lowered her face again, unable to meet his eye. He raised his hand stroking her cheek.
"Lisbon please you can tell me." Silently begging, that it was something he could fix.
"I dont think I can Jane" she replied her face still cast downwards.
"Try" his silent please, hung in the air.
"Jane, this is hard to say" she raised her wide green eyes to his, "but your breath smells awful and it's turning my stomach."
She barked out a laugh at his shocked face. He laughed along with her, playfully shoving her in mock retaliation.
"Fine I get the hint, I'll go clean my teeth." Jane felt almost giddy with relief, she really was getting too good at playing him.
"Thank god, it's putrid." She called after him.
He quickly brushed his teeth with the new tooth brush, she had thoughtfully left out for him. He looked at his face in the mirror, he looked pale and drawn and his curls had gone askew. He looked down, realising that he was clad only in his boxers. He had felt so comfortable in bed, he had failed to focus on the fact they were both barely dressed.
He returned to the bed, sliding into his side. Lisbon had closed her eyes again, but remained on her side, facing him.
"Lisbon" he softly called.
"hmm," she responded sleepily.
"Em... I have to ask, I mean... I'm in my underwear and you wearing just your alluring little jersey... did we..." His heart constricted at the thought that he may have carressed her cheek, kissed her lips, made love to her and he'd not remember it.
"What, no" her eyes flew open.
"No?" he checked, "Good" he let out a relieved breath.
"Good?" her eyes flashed hurt.
"Yes" he leaned in, "it would have been a awful thing."
"Thanks Jane, thanks a lot." Lisbon went to roll away from him, but his hand snaked out, stopping her.
"Oh your failing to understand me my dear, the first time I kiss you, I want to remember it forever. I want to know just how your eyes look when I first touch you. The thought that when we do go to where we both know we are headed, that I couldn't remember it. Well that's simply unfathmable, I want to be with you every step of the way." Jane's eyes never left hers so she could see the truth in his gaze.
He expected guilt at the possibility of a future with her, but he felt none. He had become aware of his feelings increasing over the past few months, actually more like years and he guessed he had had time to adjust to them.
In fact, he quite liked waking up beside her and bantering in the morning. He decided as she was bathed in warm morning light on Christmas day, that now was the time, this was the moment.
He pushed back her hair and leaned in. His lips barely touched hers but it was electric. Soft warm and inviting, oh she felt like true magic and far more intoxing than all the alcohol he had encountered the night before.
"I think that was the best Christmas present you could have given me Jane. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, though I do have another present, for later...provided you tell me just why I'm in my underwear in your bed." he bargained, his hand still stroking her hair.
"You were so drunk, I had to take care of you, make sure you didn't get hurt." Lisbon laughed. "That, and you insisted on following me home, muttering about how when you leave me alone for an hour, my suiters multiply."
He shrugged, pleased that even drunk he had the sense to keep her close for whatever jealous reasons.
"When we arrived, you started to look as green as the drinks you were having. Then you used your clothes to catch the contents of your stomach, so I cleaned you up and put you in the bed with me, so I could make sure you didnt choke or anything." She surmmarised.
"Not how I imagined our first Christmas eve together I'll admit," he knew he should feel more shame, but really he knew that she wouldn't do that for just anyone and however he got here he was glad he was.
Lisbon's face beamed at him "you imagined us together?"
"Oh yes, and I plan to make up for last night with our first Christmas day together." he grinned,
leaning over, deepening their second kiss and planning to start a lot of firsts right here, right now.
Authors second note: This was really Jisbony for me, I blame it on the season. Anyone doubting that Absinthe can cause a blackout if you have too much, I can promise you it's true and I have first hand experience. I have three memories from last Friday and some very strange Facebook messages from people i don't know but who seem to know me...any way hope you enjoyed.