Alright, I've been working on this story for a while now, since September or August I believe. I stopped for a while, so I only got to chap. 6, but I'll be working on it a bit more from now on. I rated it K+ because it's mostly funny, thought there WILL be T moments. No M moments, though; not my style. So, without further however-you-spell-adoo, I give you Crimson Castle!
The bullpen was shocked. No, not exactly shocked… more like surprised. Confused. Questioning. Patrick Jane did his job with subtle hues, without too much attention, not standing out for the sake of avoiding suspicion, unless he needed it for a plan of his. In Teresa Lisbons' eyes, being arrogant was what he did best, his skills constantly earning him disbelief, or anger, for that matter, that he soaked up like a sponge. A very irritating sponge.
Jane pranced into the bullpen, seemingly, although the team knew better, oblivious to the wandering stares. Not that the team was innocent, in that matter; they were the holders of said stares, along with the occasional agent cutting through the desks as a shortcut.
He looked roughly the same; Three-piece suit, wild hair (It was at its' longest at the moment), intense eyes, and a trademark yet understandable unpredictable feel around him. Though, he was arguably normal at the moment.
His dress shirt was the only thing really the same. It was blue, the same color as the hi-lites in his eyes, the top button unhitched, revealing his deep collarbone. It brought out the slate colors in his orbs, as well as the darker blues, initiating an ocean color. His jacket, vest and pants were navy, the type that looked like frozen ice, the threads appearing smooth to the touch.
The interesting part was the pinstripes that vertically decorated his jacket and pants. It was a metallic, dark brown and gold mixed, matching the undertones in his hair perfectly. It contrasted against the navy sharply, giving his tanned skin a glow. His vest was plain, closed up with golden buttons. He decorated the ensemble with expensive-looking shoes, a gold, gaudy Rolex and glasses that were metallic gold as well, with a reflective lens within. All in all, his outfit portrayed a wealthy being, the cost of these articles agreeably deep within the thousands.
Lisbon approached him slowly, her arms crossed and lips curved up humorously. "What are you doing?"
He took off his glasses, giving her a 'duh' look, eyebrows raised. His lips ghosted a smile. "Why, I'm sitting on this comfortable couch o' mine."
She paused for a moment, narrowing her eyes. She spoke slowly, on the verge of annoyance. "No, I mean, what's with your get-up?"
"Ah, that." He caught eyes with the team, them trying and failing to pretend to work. They had finished everything a while back- it was the beginning of summer, and they hadn't had a case for days. Jane mused the only important thing they had to do would be to observe their, as in Jane and Lisbons', usually bantering with desperate interest. Although he shouldn't get credit for assuming, no, telling as it is. It was quite obvious to anyone who gave it the right amount of thought. He lied down on the worn leather, interweaving his fingers.
Lisbon was still standing there, waiting. She got impatient, tapping her foot, crossing her arms. He sighed, rolling his head before lazily opening an eye.
"Anything else you need to ask me?"
"Many things, but none without the words 'arrogant' and 'jackass' inside."
"I would assume you are hinting at something?"
"Did you figure that out by yourself?"
He huffed, sitting up and crossing his legs. He started to untie his new shoe. "It hurts that you would insult my intelligence so casually, Lisbon."
"Oh, bullcrap, I've seen you withstand worse."
"No, I mean it, these new shoes are killing me."
He took off his other one and massaged his feet, wincing as his sensitive skin rubbed the wrong way against the unenclosed fabric of his socks.
"Then why did you get them in the first place?"
The shoes were definitely new: shiny, brown, uncomfortable looking. They were standard and smoothly pointed, but his pinched feeling was to be expected.
He shrugged innocently. "Because I could. My financial status has withstood a remarkable increase."
"Did you earn it legally?"
"I think so." His voice held an air of dramatic mystery alongside.
She sighed loudly. "Seriously, Jane, where did you get the money?"
He raised an eyebrow at her. "No offense, dear Lisbon, but I don't see how that is any of your business."
That one made her pause. That didn't sound like him, he told her everything. Something was up. She copied his movement, raising an eyebrow as well. "I'm a law-enforcement official. Whoever earns a massive amount of money and refuses to tell me how, it becomes my business."
He waved his hand at her, a 'whatever' motion. "No need to be so forceful, I'm just waiting for the right moment."
"Now is the right moment," Lisbon said, her voice rising in the middle.
He sighed as he stood up, walking towards the CBI's small kitchen, socks and all. Lisbon walked with him, following under the arch and leaning against the wall when they arrived. "Well, if you must know…" Jane lowered his voice dramatically, opening the cupboard and taking out a teacup with its' saucer. "… I have inserted a series of numbers into a… competition, and my numbers were correct in this said competition." He paused, rocking onto his heels, looking expectantly at her.
Lisbon crossed her arms, a small smile on her face. "The lottery, Jane?"
He put the water on the stove and opened a drawer, pulling out two packages, deciding on which one to use. He threw one of them back and pulled out a teabag, before turning to Lisbon. He thought for a moment before shrugging and nodding. "I suppose some would call it that."
Her torso leaned closer for effect. "That's what everyone would call it."
"I object, I didn't call it that."
She walked towards the refrigerator, pulling out his milk for him. "I wouldn't count you as everyone."
He took the milk and poured a bit into his cup. "Oh, thank you. And that's a little over the top, Lisbon. No matter how my looks and abilities make it hard to believe, I am human."
He leaned against the counter, using his arms as support by straightening them behind him, hands on the smooth surface. "Fine, I'm open for a debate."
"And I have a list of complaints in your file to prove it."
"That's where you're wrong. It's not a debate if I tell the truth and people get angry about it."
"You're right, that's called being an damn jerk to grieving people, jackass."
"Wow, easy on the cursing, Lisbon. My ears are bleeding," he said with raised eyebrows, turning the stove off as the water started to boil. The CBI didn't have the traditional teapots that whistled when it was finished. Pity, they were fun, but he was too busy, sleeping or working, to ever buy one himself. "Not every word describing me needs to be ugly."
"I'm sure many people here would disagree."
"No doubt." He flashed her his million-dollar smile, washing her insult away.
She pretended to sigh angrily, her returned smile betraying her. He turned around to tend to his tea. She took the hint and walked out of the room, to her office. She opened the door and it closed smoothly behind her as she approached her desk chair. She was quite tired, but she wouldn't let it get in the way of her… Originally, it would be working, but honestly there was nothing to work on.
She sat for a while, absently looking around the room. She had finished any paperwork or complaints left, cleaned up her office, even bought a few new office supplies for her team. Now, with nothing to do, she was extremely bored.
A sudden ringing filled the room. She picked up the office phone immediately, announcing her name professionally.
She listened to her boss' words. She paused for a moment. "What exactly are you saying?" She stood up, the wire connecting to the holder limiting her room.
Jane walked in, tea in hand. She motioned for him to leave, waving to the door. "Uh huh."
He nodded, as if to say 'no problem', sitting on her couch. She gave him a look, mouthing 'Get out.'
He sipped his tea diligently, whispering, "You won't even know I'm here." She turned her back to him.
"But we did extra days last year, I thought…"
Her voice saddened immediately. "Yes, OK, whatever you say. When do we start?"
She held the phone between her ear and shoulder, grabbing a pen and writing something on her notepad. She was barely controlling her hands from shaking, Jane noticed. His eyes stayed on her as he sipped from his tea every now and then.
She put the phone back in its' holder, pausing for a moment. Then she started to pace in front of her desk.
"You seem grumpy," Jane noted out loud.
She didn't falter. "Apparently, we have extra vacation days this summer."
"My my, what bad news, however will you cope?" Sarcasm dripped from his tone as he effortlessly grasped the burning china containing the hot liquid.
"You be quiet." Lisbon stopped moving, turning to face Jane. Her torso moved slightly as she spoke, a sign of discomfort. "All the big publicity cases happen in the summer. We had extra vacation time last year that I asked for; the team worked hard and needed a break, you remember. Anyways, we missed three big busts that promoted everyone except us. It was hell bringing us up to pace with everyone else when we got back, not to mention those damned looks we got for half a year." She started to pace again. "I'm almost positive that the same will happen this year, and we can't afford that."
"How can you be almost positive?" Jane asked, knowing well that you can't use sympathy against Lisbon, unless you wanted your ears ringing for a week. "That's absurd."
"Jane," she warned, straightening the items on her desk impatiently. "Don't."
"Don't what? Correcting your choice of words is not a crime." She hated how damn calm he sounded, the quietness of his voice making her even more irritated. But, no matter how annoying he was at the moment, it wasn't his fault.
He prepared his reply to a threatening comeback, but instead she sighed through her teeth. "I know, I know. But I can't go against our authorities." She seemed utterly agitated.
"Wait, our authorities?" Jane quirked a crooked smile as he spoke. "You're our authorities. Thus, wouldn't that make our boss the authorities authority? That's confusing."
Lisbon couldn't help but smile back, locking eyes with him lazily. He motioned for her to sit next to him, which she obliged to. She sunk into the cushion and angled herself to Jane. "What do you plan on doing with your time? It's nearly two weeks."
"Nearly two weeks, you say?" He said mysteriously, setting his saucer down on the corner of Lisbons' desk. He crossed his arms loosely, nodding slightly. "I'll find something entertaining to do."
"Oh, really?" She said humorously, raising her eyebrow. "I can see it now, the famous Patrick Jane sipping tea out of his china, his foot stuck in gum at the local movie theatre."
He made an emotionless face at her, which she found hilarious. "The movie theatre is hardly entertaining, it's full of couples attached at the mouth and undistinguishable stains all over scratchy fabric."
She thought for a moment then nodded, too. "Can't say I disagree."
"Mmm," he murmured smoothly, looking off into space. Lisbon slowly grew tired, her eyes wandering to the outside window. It was almost sunset, roughly an hour or two before closing, if no case, that is. She yawned loudly.
"You're tired, go to sleep," Jane said, as if he were telling her to confess, the tone he used with suspects. "I won't tell."
She shook her head slowly. "No, only a little bit left to go, I'm fine."
He didn't seem too exhausted. Though he always appeared tired, his eyes weren't drooping, unlike hers.
His voice became funny, all sing-songy. "It's either now or on the road."
"No, no, I'm up. Coffee." She stood up, getting a hold of herself before taking a step.
A warm hand gently grasped her wrist. "That stuff is going to kill you," Jane said pointedly, dropping his hand when she turned around. He took his cooler teacup from Lisbons' desk, taking a sip. "No wonder you're so short."
He made a face at how cold the liquid is, placing it back on her desk. She crossed her arms before sitting back down. "You never complained about it before."
He shrugged. "You were chugging it down today like water at a marathon, and you use it to cope from your boredom. Which has been coming in large quantities lately."
Usually she wouldn't listen to him, but the coffee was probably cold by now, and her eyesight was blurring in and out of focus too much to be able to heat it up. Maybe a nap for two hours would do her good. She could tell the team about their vacation time tomorrow, it didn't apply for two days.
She sat back down, far away from Jane for room. Before she curled up, she asked, "How much money did you win, anyway?"
"Shh," Jane shushed quietly, laying a hand on her shoulder, gently pushing her down. "It can wait until tomorrow."
"Mmhm," She mumbled, her head resting on one of his legs. Something warm petted her head slowly, someone humming a tune that lulled her deeper into darkness.
He smelled like… rosemary, or sage, a type of spice mixed with a sweet fragrance, like caramel or chocolate. She moved her head a bit, but figured she wasn't comfortable. She moved her head onto the small cushion, which immediately a hand impulsively lifted her head back onto the original pillow. She could feel him pause for a moment; he didn't know why he had returned her, while he couldn't remember deciding to. Then he relaxed, laying a hand gently back onto her head.
She figured it was OK to sleep for a bit.
The morning sun was creeping through the bullpen, soft, sleepy voices chattering in the background. Lisbon was exasperated, looking at her team.
The all said their own versions of the word 'no'. She figured now would be a good time to report the news.
"Tomorrow, we have… ah, our vacations begin. Boss wants us on extra time again."
Their faces were a mix of relief and horror. Rigsby recovered first.
"But, last time, when we came back we were in the dust," he complained, a slight bitterness in his tone. The others agreed.
"I know, but-."
"I have an idea."
Jane walked into the middle of their desks, arms behind his back. His outfit was now back to normal, his regular grey with a different, light blue dress shirt and scuffed brown shoes. He rocked a bit on his heels, waiting.
Lisbon gave in. "OK, Jane, what is it?"
"Well, as you may know, Lisbon, I have inserted a series of num-."
"You won the lottery, Jane." Lisbon said irritably, repeating what she just said to him towards the team in a hushed tone.
He turned his gaze on her, leaning his head in for effect, a hint of a smile on his face. "No need to be snippy."
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, impatient as always. He continued.
"I have decided that you all need some fun for a change," he added, still in the same position, waiting for any replies.
Lisbon nodded slowly, confused, eyes stuck to him. He was getting at something big, which was always a bad sign. He always meant well, but… it was taking a chance just to listen to him, let alone follow through with any plan of his. She put her weight onto her other leg. He gave her a look that complained about her impatience.
"For that matter, I have concocted a brilliant idea to ease any boredom you all might be feeling during the time off from this hellhole."
"Hey," Lisbon objected. "This hellhole is our job."
"Lisbon, you have to admit, the death that surrounds us is depressing," Jane whined, his both of his eyebrows forming, roughly, an upside-down widened 'v'.
She said nothing, just glaring at him for rendering her, not exactly speechless, but with nothing to add on. His face remained the same. "No more interruptions? OK, thank you."
Her fists clenched as she suppressed the urge to pound him in the face, right at the bridge of his sensitive nose. He caught on to her mood and, while he spoke, subtly shuffled away from her.
"Anyways, I have concluded that, in order to be relatively happy, you all need to spend most of your time during the break in relatively happy place… That undermined the location a bit. This said place is full of magic, wonder, exciteme-."
"Get on with it, Jane," Lisbon whispered angrily, a habit she so often used during cases when he toyed with her, or the suspects.
"You want me to get on with it?" He asked seriously, pointing a finger to her, a small gesture he used when stalling. "All right. I was going for dramatic, but if you, boss, want me to go on with it…" He sent her an amused smile, and, in return, she sent him a warning glare. His smile grew slightly nervous and dimmed, as if to say 'all right then'. "I am personally, with my newfound wealth, taking you four to the most magical place on Earth." He wasn't full out smiling anymore, really, but a look of wonder passed his face as he recited the last sentence.
Lisbon didn't look the least bit excited as he had hoped. She scoffed at him, but he couldn't miss the slight gleam of interest that glazed her eyes. "Disney World, Jane? I guess it was to be expected, coming from the boy who never grows up."
He chuckled slightly. "Yes, well, I have never been, and this is a good chance to relive things that I have missed." A distant look passed his face, before he smiled enthusiastically. "You know, with more rides and attractions then the beginning. I plan on taking you all to every ride in the book. You see-."
"Wait a minute, who said I'm going?" Lisbon said. Behind her, the team shifted a bit. She turned around, relaying what she meant. "You all can go, but I'd rather stay here then off to the other side of the United States, stuck with him." She jerked her thumb at Jane.
Jane ignored the hurtful jab at him and turned his calculating eyes on, watching Lisbon expectantly. "I assume you have been to Disney World before?"
She looked at him strangely, but he could tell she was mildly disappointed. "No, why?"
He raised an eyebrow. "You knew Disney World is in Florida, while the other franchise, Disney Land, is here in California. Also, knowing you're logical attitude, you would assume I would be you all to the one here, because it's the easiest way." He smiled slightly, the one he used whenever he was right and knew it. "The statement 'the most magical place on earth' is the Disney World slogan, along with 'Where dreams come true', though that can be used for both." He spoke as if everything was so obvious.
"I'm not following."
He sighed loudly, though she knew he was feigning his irritated expression for the sake of appearing more correct. "Disney World is all about 'the most happiest place on Earth', totally different from 'magical', obviously. Only someone who knows about the place can distinguish one from the other correctly." He shrugged.
She shook her head. "I've never gone to Disney World or Land, just leave it at that."
He could sense hidden meaning and wanted to probe more, but he swallowed his urge, just to protect her from any more discomfort. He narrowed his eyes at her thoughtfully before turning to the team.
Their reactions were to be expected, judging from each of their characters. Rigsby was proving himself alike with Jane; he was a child at heart, adventurous and ultimately excited. He was unlike Jane in the fact that he hid these feelings from Lisbon for the sake of not being thought of badly, though his small smile betrayed him. Van Pelt was happy for a new adventure, having growing up in a small town and all, mostly isolated from everywhere else. She had no idea what happiness beheld her, for he knew she would go, her open smile proving it. Cho was the only one with doubt; he was the most difficult to read, so if he had any excitement, it was hidden well. He would go along if Lisbon did; he looked after her judgment to prove what was right and what wasn't. With another thought, Rigsby and van Pelt were likely to be altered if they knew their boss couldn't be won over.
Jane turned back to the raven-haired woman, tilting his head slightly. "It appears it's all up to you."
She was about to flat-out refuse, but then she thought of something. What was she going to be doing during the break, anyways? She had always found comfort in the beginning of the weekend; she was able to relax, order in Chinese or pizza for herself, and not worry about anything. But even then, by Sunday she was a bit ancy for something to do. She studied Jane as she came to a conclusion. His eyes and smile already seemed to hold her answer. She sighed, defeated.
"All right, fine. I suppose some fun would be good for us… That is, if you all want to join." What a stupid question. Jane had to know that they would join, or else he wouldn't have asked. Though she would rather burn alive, mind you then have to be isolated in another state with Patrick Jane, where she had little to no jurisdiction. She concluded that maybe she wanted the team to go, to put a barrier between the two.
"Hell yes!" Rigsby said, a smile breaking his face, before remembering where he was and turning sheepish. He coughed. "I mean, I would love to go."
Van Pelt laughed lightly before inputting: "It will be fun, can't wait!"
All eyes turned to Cho. His face didn't give anything away. "I have nothing else to do, as long as it doesn't take too much time." They all understood why, even though he's too business-like to admit it. Elise had recently gone into surgery for her shoulder, dislocating it doing yoga. It was supposedly a relaxing hobby, Jane had mused humorously, though they were concerned when they figured out the accident by Janes' 'powers'. They already knew Cho visited her on a daily basis.
Jane smiled cheekily, mostly at Lisbon, but spread out around to everyone. He was lost for a moment before popping back. "Oh, I almost forgot, here are your tickets." He handed out a slip of paper to everyone. They were A-1, the first to be called, and first to board the plane. She scoffed at his need for the best.
"Commercial? By the way you're acting, I would've though you had bought yourself a private jet by now."
Jane shrugged, though he knew her question formed into a comment was humorously put. "Not enough time to get everything finished. Too much paperwork to fill out, and I'd have to get my face painted onto the wings, obviously."
"Obviously," she agreed in a laugh, leaning against the vacant desk behind her. It bothered her a bit, speaking about personal things inside the office. Well, not exactly personal, but non-professional. "So, where are we staying?"
"A place called Animal Kingdom Lodge. It would take too long to explain in detail, but, ah…" He made a small motion with his hands, as if he thought they could understand what he meant, like he's able to. "It's supposedly interesting."
Lisbon nodded halfheartedly, checking out her ticket again. It was for the next day, a bit past eleven. She supposed she could pick Jane up, seeing as she almost always did whenever they had a case early, if he was willing to be picked up, of course. Sometimes he just ignored her calls in the morning if they had one, pretending to be sleeping, as if she thought he did. Her team behind her was just listening, a bit in and out, their usual dazed attitude for about an hour in the morning when there's no case. She thought about another thing to ask, her police brain always trying to soak in details, to get a feel for the situation.
"Please, no more questions," Jane said lazily, as if it pained him to do so. How dramatic. He turned away to walk off.
"Wait," Lisbon said, just remembering one important thing she forgot to ask. "How much money did you get, anyways?"
He sighed and rolled his eyes for having to answer again, though he was smiling slightly as he did so, like he was anticipating the question. "Oh, you know…" He said while stretching his back, his voice strained from the small physical pressure. "About ten billion, give or take a dollar."
He gave his winning smile to their awed expressions before he went to tend to a cup of tea.
Don't worry; romance will begin soon! Oh, and every time you click 'review', we save a dying gorilla in the wild. Every time you don't, we'll kill one (I LOVE YOU IF YOU KNOW WHERE THAT'S FROM!) . Anyway, my rule is that after at least 5 reviews for each chapter, I'll post the next one. Or, if I have 10+ for the second chapter, 15+ for the third chapter and so one, it doesn't matter which chapter it's for, because that'll work, too. If I stop following that rule, it means not enough reviews or I'm working on it. If I'm off for a while, I'll probably come back with an extra chapter or something, but I'm rarely off for a LONG time. So, I guess... happy clickings!