Patience & Fortitude

A Crossover

By Brown Eyes Parker

Summary: Lisbon and Castle have a conversation regarding their respective partners. Implied J/L and C/B.

Author's Note: This was the second story I wrote for the challenge on LJ, and to be honest. . . I liked the other one a lot better than this story. But I decided to share this little one-shot for the fun of it.

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"So, how long have you been in love with him?" Richard Castle asked as he joined Teresa Lisbon at the bar.

Lisbon choked on the champagne she was drinking, startled. Nobody had ever asked her that question before; she had never stopped to think her feelings for Patrick Jane were that transparent. She had taken it for granted that someday, somebody would notice she was in love and ask her about it.

She quickly collected her thoughts and cleared her throat, willing the burning feeling away. There was only one thing to do; she had to deflect from Castle's question. Because there was no way she was going to answer it.

"How long are you going to wait for her?" Lisbon challenged.

"Kate?" Castle clarified.

"Yeah," she replied. "It's pretty obvious that you have feelings for her, but you aren't together. So, how long are you going to wait for her?"

"I'll wait for her forever if I have to," Castle answered promptly.

"You can get old waiting for forever," Lisbon said, taking a sip of her drink.

"Ah, but I know a secret that makes forever a little closer and the waiting a little easier," he said.

She put her glass down. "Oh?"

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things," Castle quoted.

Lisbon let out a long breath. "But it's not that simple, sometimes there are other things that complicate the patience and fortitude."

"You would have bailed out a long time ago if it weren't for patience and fortitude," Castle said.

"But we're not talking about me," Lisbon replied, looking across the crowded hotel ballroom to where Jane was chatting with Beckett.

"I think we sort of are."

"No, because I'm not going to wait for him forever," Lisbon said softly, her eyes never leaving Jane. "There is no such thing as forever and Patrick Jane. Sometimes patience and fortitude doesn't matter, you can have all the patience in the world, and he still won't choose you in the end. He'll choose something else completely. . . someone else completely."

Castle pretended that he didn't know what she was talking about, even though he had Googled both Lisbon and Jane before he had come over to California for the CBI benefit. He knew that she wasn't betting on a sure thing when it came to Patrick Jane, still, he didn't want her to give up on him. From the little time that he had spent with the pair, he could tell the consultant needed the agent even more than the agent needed the consultant.

He couldn't tell her this though, because he had a feeling that she wasn't the type of her person to take advice from a person that she barely knew.

"Patience and fortitude," Lisbon mused.

"It's worth a shot," Castle said. "You never know what will happen."

"Well, it was nice talking to you," Castle said as he got to his feet. "But I'm going to see what Beckett is up to now."

Lisbon looked and saw Jane standing a foot away from the bar counter. "Oh. It was nice talking to you too! And the best of luck to you, I hope she comes around soon."

Castle smiled at her. "Patience and fortitude Agent. Do me a favor and don't give up on him too soon. Okay?"

Lisbon watched as Castle walked over to Beckett, whispering something in her ear. She smiled and took his hand, waving to Jane as the two walked to the dance floor. Jane caught her staring, his own face lit up into a smile as he came towards her.

"Care to dance?" He asked, holding out his hand for her.

"I'd love to," she answered after a beat, returning his smile and letting him lead her to the dance floor.

As they started to dance, as her heart filled with a million hopes for the future, Lisbon began to think that, maybe, one day with a little bit of patience and fortitude this could become the norm for them.

_End_

edited 3/10/1012_