From anonymous prompt at Mentalist KINK MEME: "After kissing Erica, Jane's suppressed attraction to Lisbon is awakened and he finds any excuse to be near her, to touch her and just breathe her in. Which of course leads to sexy times."
He could still feel the kiss on his lips. It had left his skin tingling all over. Nine years was a long time to forgo any affection from anyone save for one kiss on the cheek from Kristina Fry at the end of their rather disastrous first and, as it turned out, only date.
Erica had drawn him in with her beauty and intelligence which would draw any man. But it was her guile and seductress wiles that had that had captured his senses and fooled his heart for that brief but telling moment.
On her part the kiss had been gentle and sweet. On his it had been curiosity but then almost...desperation. For that short moment, his libido had gotten the better of him as had the loneliness. But when she had placed her one hand on his arm, snaking the other around his waist, an unmistakably sensual touch inviting him to stay with her, he had woke up to the con' she had just put over on him.
Brilliant and subtle and as admirably executed as it had been, still it had been a con.
He had pulled away, the guilt over the kiss (the memories of his wife and his graveside promise to her beating at him from the past), that had flooded in, a little hurt that the kiss was really just a lie as was all of her words, and the sudden horror at the depth of his own vulnerability. Standing there in that hotel room with Erica Flynn had, in the space of a few seconds, brought home to him how bad the loneliness had become.
Everyone around him, his colleagues, had someone. Rigsby had his Sarah, Van Pelt would no doubt be matched up again with boyfriend number four, and Cho had his ray of Summer. Even Lisbon had been spending time now and again with Walter Mashburn.
He had Red John.
It had felt nice even for that few seconds to pretend that maybe he could have someone again, even if it was just another swindler like himself.
Hoping it would help, Jane strolled around the hotel grounds until the butterflies in his stomach had settled and the shaking n his hands went away. But he only felt worse, the isolation bearing down on him like a house. He walked aimlessly through the hotel after that eventually arriving, though he could not recall how, outside Lisbon's door.
Jane raised his hand to knock, and then dropped it to his side before he did. Turning to leave, the door suddenly opened and Lisbon was standing there looking at him.
"Jane?" She said, frowning. "What's going on?"
Jane found himself tongue-tied as he had no answer for her. "Uh...I was just...taking a stroll. S-sorry I disturbed you."
Lisbon looked up and down the hall. He had no idea why.
Jane could see her gaze switch to Supergirl and go right through him. "Are you all right?" she asked. The tiny squeak of concern in her voice almost made him smile. He liked the squeak. Lisbon was a ruby-lipped mouse with the heart of a lion and she had only ever squeaked for him. Plus he was pleased that she knew when something was bothering him. It was a good at-home feeling. "Erica kissed me." He blurted out, shocked at himself.
Lisbon's expression darkened and Jane thought maybe now was a good time to get lost. "She was trying to con' me." He added, rolling on the balls of his shifting feet, his eyes dropping to the floor in shame. Even now it hurt - that lying kiss. And yes, he did feel ashamed over it. Over his weakness despite the lie.
Lisbon heard however, not the shame in his voice, but the hurt. Erica had hurt him somehow tonight. "Do you wanna' come in? Have a tea or something? Maybe something stronger? You look like you could use something stronger."
Jane stepped over the threshold. "Thanks." Just then he really didn't feel like going back to his solitary bed in his empty, pastel coloured hotel room. Company and conversation would be infinitely preferable to another evening of the TV on mute, and he saw Lisbon as that temporary salvation.
Lisbon opened two paper-wrapped tumblers, pouring something golden into each of them and handing one to him.
Jane sniffed it and took a sip. Southern Comfort. A sweet, sipping whiskey that could pack a punch if one was not careful. He took a long swallow anyway, eager to feel the relaxation a few jiggers of alcohol can bring. Relaxation and a drink with a friend was a thing didn't often do these days. "Good." He muttered.
"What's happened?' Lisbon asked him.
Jane knew her meaning. Not what happened with the kiss, but what was happening with him.
He was not sure he even had an answer that made sense. He felt...scooped out. Psychologically he knew it wasn't healthy to live as isolated as he often did. He had colleagues who he called friends but other than at the office or on the job, he never saw them. They had their lives and partners and futures and he had...
Jane sighed, rubbing one hand down his face. He shook his head silently. The answer would not come. "I don't know." He told her. "I don't know what's wrong."
"Is it about Erica? You like her...?"
Jane was sure of that answer. "No. I mean, under different circumstances, yes, I like her. If she were different but no, no...There's...nothing there." Jane said trying to articulate the feeling one has when one would like a person to be someone else, but it was a sad, hopeless feeling and the words were lost. Jane sipped his drink. "Nothing happened by the way." It seemed important for Lisbon to know that.
How could she know? Had he wanted it to happen? A side of him had. But the other, better parts of him had sent him running from her gorgeous lips and sweet-tasting lies.
It was not the whiskey since he had only had three or four sips, that made his eyes begin to water. It was the awful aching hole in his chest that refused to leave him alone. Why this night? Why now? And why here?
Lisbon was sitting on the bed. The petite, raven haired wonder-woman with a power over him he had not experienced since...not for many years. Yet she filled the room, too, this tiny woman. His vision was blocked by her, his days leaped and bounded with her flashing eyes and angry frowns, her snapping or gentle tongue, and he loving every minute of it. He was sad when it was time for her to go home, and glad when the sun rose the next day and they could again start hunting down the bad guy.
Lisbon was aware that something had happened tonight, if not by Erica then by the result of her deceit. And it had happened to Jane and it was not for the better of him. He seemed terribly depressed. He was not looking at her and Lisbon realized that for the last few minutes he had not looked at her once. He was hiding his eyes to hide his soul.
"Hey." She said, abandoning her own glass on the bed and walking over to him. "Tell me what's going on." She asked firmly, and then more gently "You know I hate it when you keep things from me, Jane. It drives me crazy."
She took his chin in her hand and made him look up at her, and she was shocked that he let her. His walls were a pile of crumbling mortar. "I don't know how she did it, but she hurt you somehow." Lisbon ventured. "That's it, isn't it? She really hurt you tonight." Lisbon searched his eyes and Jane thought that maybe Lisbon had the makings of a con-woman in her. "And for some reason you let it happen or maybe you blame yourself."
Jane leaned forward and rubbed his eyes with one hand, letting the other dangle limply off his knee. Every good argument against what she was saying drained out of him then. He had no defences and no way to articulate how very badly he was feeling. It was like a sickness, a rot, and her words were making it ever worse with each second that ticked by and because of her soft hand on his face.
Lisbon crouched down in front of him. "You think you're the only one who feels lonely? Let me tell you - Patrick Jane does not have a corner on suffering." She said sternly, trying to snap him out of it. And then to soften the blow "But he has had more than his fair share I think."
Lisbon, too, harboured wishes of being someone else, most times someone other than herself. Because she was not tall nor sophisticated or even, she believed, beautiful. But she could love and she did and she knew when she did, it would be for a keeper, and Walter Mashburn, however much fun they had together, was not a keeper.
"You think you're the only lonely person in this room, Jane?" Lisbon asked, leaning closer. "Don't be stupid." Lisbon kissed him, pressing her lips to his softly, her mouth lingering on his, and teasing his lips apart so he would not think it a mistake and that she had been aiming for a chaste kiss on the cheek and missed.
Lisbon let him go and watched fascinated as his eyes looked up at her, wide and clear. "Now I want you to finish your drink and go get some sleep. That's an order." She said.
Jane swallowed the whiskey and without a word, gathered up his jacket. His eyes were dry now. This room had held no lies for him. She had given him no deceitful mouth. Lisbon spoke only plain and honest things. Sweetened but hard truths that cleaned out every dark corner of him. He felt as light as a feather.
He turned back. There was that squeak again in her kind voice, and with it her stern words of love warming him tip to toe. His first name on her lips sounding comfortable. Normal. Like it belonged there. "Don't ever let me catch you letting trash like that hurt you again."
Jane smiled. He was filled up - and now held up - by her. The ache was gone, and hope had taken its place. He nodded, for once, not arguing her direct order. Delighting in it, in fact. Erica who?