Love from the couch

A/N Hi everyone, I'm publishing this story again, because the previous version just didn't work out. This is a story with a little bit angst, humor, fluff.. you name it XD It just wrote itself, so I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: Yep. I own everything.

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Okay, you got me. I don't.

_

Chapter 1: The Darkness

Jane was laying on his couch, like usual. People were walking back and forth, paying no attention to him. Also like usual. There was a case, but they already knew the what, why and who, and Rigsby and Cho just left to arrest the guy who did it. Nothing weird there, too.

Then why was it that he felt so… strange? Inside, everything definitely felt abnormal.

Of course he knew why; he could read himself just as well as he could read other people. Figuring what was wrong with him wasn't the problem at all. Oh, he knew alright.
He just couldn't stop wishing he didn't know. Jane shifted a little on his couch, sneaking a peek at the closed door of Lisbon's office.

Strong, beautiful Lisbon. She was different than anyone he knew; she always had been. She wasn't anything like Angela, who had been soft, kind, and always positive. He always wanted to protect her from the big, bad world around them. Lisbon was tough; hardened by life. She could be childish, but she was a fighter. Not to mention, totally bad-ass.
Jane couldn't help but grin. Everything was always about her job, no matter what she had to give up for it.
But she would always find justice, even for the ones that didn't deserve it. And she knew about his plans of revenge, moreover: she didn't just know. She accepted them, like she accepted him. Even Angela wasn't able to accept all of the flaws that came with him. But Lisbon… She often protected him while thinking he didn't know. The consultant snorted. As if.

Since a while he kept thinking about her more and more often. He used to read poetry to his wife, even though he didn't really like it. Poetry was all about love and peace, and it was a stupid way of concealing what you really wanted to say. Jane was more about the direct ways of telling things.
But when he thought about Lisbon, he thought about words. About ways to describe how he felt when she smiled. When he heard her, shouting his name in alarm when he'd sneaked off again.
Words formed in his head. But he wasn't ready to share them with her, yet.
He didn't know when the moment would come when he finally could.

He didn't know if he ever could.

It started innocently. He was thinking of a way to describe her when a new colleague asked him about her. And for the first time in years he found that he was actually stammering. The guy asked about their relationship. Jane had sucked in a breath and had regained his calm. He told the man he was tired of answering stupid questions and walked away, back to his familiar couch.
Like he was totally superficial about the whole thing.

But he wasn't.
It scared the crap out of him.
When he first started working for the CBI, he never thought that he would ever be able to feel something like this… again for someone.
And by someone, he never ever would have thought he would actually come to…
Come to love his "boss".
Of course, it could never happen. It wasn't supposed to happen.
He wasn't supposed to have feelings that strong ever again.
And yet he did.
So what to do now? He couldn't tell her –not because it was against the rules, because he had broken those often enough. To hell with the rules. No, even if she might feel the same about him, it was too dangerous. Jane couldn't magically be healed again, and rebuild his life with Lisbon, while Red John was still there. He couldn't give up his revenge. If red John might do something to her… She would never be safe. He had to make sure Red John wouldn't get to her. Something that proved to be almost impossible.
She would lose all of her freedom, and every day he would be afraid to come home and see a note sticking to the door. To see a red smiley on the wall, painted with Lisbon's blood.

He would never do that to her.

He loved her to much for that.

So he was doing all he could do: loving her from his couch.

But nothing in life was certain. And as days, weeks passed, he felt worse. Every time she touched his arm and gave him a secret, proud smile because he helped them solve the case it got worse. When he caught her gaze he saw something there, a hint that she looked at him the same way as he looked at her. But she was Lisbon, and she was too stubborn, too good at what she does to let it get to her. Not like how it got to him.
Patrick Jane sighed and ruffled his hand through his magnificent hair, causing it to curl even more. He never wanted any attention from women, even though he got plenty. Instead, he holds on to this wedding ring, locking himself up in a mental case. He became cold and passive but his mind could function. It was the only way he could keep himself from falling apart.
But now, things were slowly changing. He didn't keep all of the strings tightly grasped in his hands anymore.
He couldn't stay silent about his feelings for much longer now, no matter how much it frustrated him.
He closed his eyes once again, ignoring a worried remark from Grace.
And inside his head, his feelings overflowed.

A few moments later –he lost track of time, someone pinched his nose. He didn't need to open his eyes to know who it was.
"Ouch, Lisbon," he mumbled, pretending to sound sleepy. She didn't fall for it.
"Jane, get up. It's late," she continued when he didn't response. "Cho and Rigsby already went home."
Huh. Guess a lot of time passed without him really noticing.
"It's okay, I'm fine… right here. But," he added on an afterthought. "Maybe if you would make me a cup of tea… For all you know, I might just change my mind." He knew she was worried about him. He didn't plan to take advantage of it –he just hoped she would let it go when he would say a few annoying things. Strangely enough, he didn't feel another pinch: he didn't even hear her answer. Carefully, he peeked through one eye. Lisbon was gone. He opened his other eye.
The office was lit only by the dim light of the lamp on Grace's desk and the lights in Lisbon's office. The windows showed only darkness. For a second Jane believed that she really left him there and it slightly disturbed him. Sure, he wanted her to leave but at the same time… didn't. But then, as he pushed himself up, he spotted a piece of her grey suit. She was in the kitchen. He heard the jingle of glasses bumping against each other and strengthened his slightly wrinkled suit. The blonde consultant couldn't help but grin at the familiar smell coming from the kitchen.
Wait, was she really making tea for him? For real?
A grin spread out over his face as he heard the sound of the tea kettle. A few minutes later Lisbon came walking to him, holding a tray with two mugs. She put it on a small table and pulled a chair towards her so she could sit across of him.
With a sigh, she sat down. She gestured at the mugs.
"I got you some tea."
"You did," He said, still a little surprised. "You're having tea, too? You're finally growing up, Lisbon!" She raised an eyebrow at him.
"Growing up? You drink nothing except tea, and I wouldn't exactly call you mature." He simply grinned at that, sipping from his tea. To his utter surprise, she had made it just the way he liked it: Mango-passion fruit flavor, not too hot either.
"This is… perfect, Lisbon. You want to make up for something or what? No… No that's not it…" He narrowed his eyes at her. "You're worried… because we had this Red John case the other day and you think I'm breaking down. Is that it?" He gave her a smug wink when she sighed very deep. Jane wanted to continue, when he saw it. He saw it in her eyes, in the way she was sitting on the chair. It was more than that.
He wasn't sure if he wanted to know.
He decided he didn't.
But it wasn't wrong to just fool around and pretend, was it? As long as she wouldn't become too close to him.
"Thank you," he genuinely said, holding up his cup. "It's great." Lisbon smiled. Not just a smile.
This was way more than 'just a smile'.
Oh crap. It was hard enough to keep all of his emotions and feelings stuffed away, without her showing hers so clearly. It was written all over her face.

She loved him.
Like he loved her.
He couldn't stop himself from softly laughing with her.

"Remember when we went to that high school reunion?" The female agent asked with shining eyes. "When we danced on that song?" he nodded. "We should do that again sometimes… maybe with the rest of the team, doing something that won't involve dead bodies for once. Wouldn't that be fun?" She put her now empty cup back on the plate and looked at him expectantly. He really didn't think it would be a good idea. Cho wasn't a dancer, and Rigsby and Van Pelt would be staring at each other the whole evening, too afraid to ask the other to dance. But he could imagine dancing with Lisbon, smelling the sweet scent of her hair and the feel of her soft body, safely in his arms. He would love to dance with her. But he shouldn't.
And she could tell when he was lying.
So he just shrugged.
"I think so." She nodded, unsure. A little nervous maybe.
"Okay… We'll see." She picked up the plate. "You're ready to go home now? I didn't make the tea for nothing."
"That depends… which home are we talking about?" he teased.
"In your dreams, Patrick Jane!" Oh, she would be alright.
She nudged him playfully at his side and brought the plate to the kitchen. "You're coming?" He followed her to the elevator, like a little puppy.
Despite him trying with all his might to keep a distance, he felt that distance becoming smaller and smaller.

It was night, or probably already morning.
Patrick Jane was lying in this bed in his motel, wide awake. He couldn't sleep. He hadn't been able to sleep for an entire night without remembering. Remembering the blood on the wall. Remembering them. But also remembering himself. His old self, and all of the mistakes he made. It was really hard not to. Instead, he pictured himself, talking to Lisbon. Him, watching her face when he gave her the pony for her birthday. She always looked like that when she was pleasantly surprised.
He turned to lie on his back and stared up at the rose-colored ceiling. Sometimes, a car would pass and a fleck of light would glide through the room. He closed his eyes, embracing the darkness. He felt so… lonely. What would it be like, if she would be here at this very moment… Embracing him. Laying next to him. He would run with his hands through her hair and she would smell like cinnamon and taste like his favorite tea. No, even better than tea. Maybe, if he would ever be able to kill Red John…

Would he allow himself to be happy once again?

He didn't really think of the future, the time after Red John.
In his mind everything just stopped after that. His job, his house... they all losed their purpose.

But she would never become not needed. He just wanted to be able to let himself give in to his feelings, to throw away the mask that kept his features in place.
Even if it would be just for a single moment, a single night. They would fall asleep and the next morning… he would wake up early and be surprised to feel her, resting against his chest. And he would look at her, up close. He would see her breathing, see her chest rise and fall…
He wanted it. He wanted her to be there so badly that he had to clench his hands into fists to stop him from doing something he would regret later.

His alarm told him 5 o'clock when he opened his eyes later, feeling frustrated. His insomnia had gotten so bad that Jane didn't know if he would be able to last for much longer. His head kept on turning, turning and turning. But maybe he would be able to sleep at his couch? No. Not his couch. He tried to sleep there all day. But maybe he could try to sleep at Lisbon's couch? He might as well try that, since she was all he was thinking about anyway. So he silently got up, put on his grey suit jacket and left.
The building was still dark, but luckily the security guy was at his post, not even half asleep. He didn't even have to wave his pass. Every security guard knew about him and his habit to come to the station in the early morning, and his grey Citroën was allowed to pass without a word.

When the elevator reached his floor, he went straight to Lisbon's office, not bothering to turn on the lights. On the way he almost tripped over some kind of comic book. Annoyed, he kicked it away. On the way to her couch, he grasped a sheet and a pen with the purposes of writing her a note not to wake him up. When he settled in the soft, white leather of the couch he bought her, an idea struck him.
He wasn't going to fall asleep anyway, so why bother? Maybe, he could do something else entirely. The white sheet appeared so very white in the light of the slowly rising sun. Maybe he could write down everything… Just to have it on paper. Maybe all of those stupid feelings wouldn't claim all of his thoughts anymore and he would have some rest again; maybe if he wrote them on a piece of paper, all of the words he kept thinking about over and over again would be there instead of in his head. It was a stupid idea really, but worth a try.

So Patrick Jane did something he'd never did before; he started writing down exactly what he felt. Maybe he would burn it down afterwards, but at least he was being honest to himself. And as soon as he had registered everything he loved about Lisbon, he could put it in a drawer in his memory palace and put a tight lock on it.

That would be for the best.

He rested his head on the arm rest for a second when the exhaustion, caused by his insomnia, caught up with him. He helplessly gave in to his body, demanding necessary sleep, but not before pressing the sheet safely against his chest.
The pen fell out of his hand and rolled over the floor, where it came to a halt at Lisbon's desk, but Jane didn't notice anymore.

He was asleep.