Author's note: this story takes place at some point after 4x20 - written for the Paint It Red Ficathon (the prompt is a quote from X-Files)


Father's Day

Lisbon felt her heart sinking as she noticed Jane silently slipping out of the room.

She knew that the smile which had been plastered on his face all the afternoon was actually just an act.

Father's day had always been a tough moment for Jane. This year even more so, since all the team had brought presents for Rigsby and his little Benjamin.

She briefly debated whether to follow him right now or not. In the end she decided against it. Better to wait for the other members of the team to go home. Then she could carry out her little plan.

A couple of hours later Jane emerged from his attic retreat for a belated cup of tea. Surely he didn't expect Lisbon to be sitting on his couch – holding a package wrapped in colorful paper.

"Is that my consolatory prize?", he remarked wryly.

Lisbon simply shook her head. "It's your Father's day gift".

He couldn't help slightly twitching his lips. "Oh, really?"

His friend patted the worn-out leather cushion, inviting him to sit down beside her. Jane complied, accepting the gift she presented him.

"A box of tea, correct?"

"Earl Grey. Your favorite".

"Thank you, Lisbon".

"You're welcome".

An awkward silence followed. Lisbon forced herself to speak at length.

"I know you don't believe in the afterlife, Jane. Yet I'm sure Charlotte would very much like you to be happy today. You'll always be her father, no matter what happened to her".

"I bet she hates me – admitted she's really somewhere watching at me right now".

"No, she doesn't. Believe me".

"Didn't know you were psychic, Lisbon".

"I'm not. But I can tell you one thing – I never stopped loving my father. No matter what he did to me or to my brothers".

Jane was very touched by this unexpected admission about her troubled past. He felt the sudden urge to hug her – which he actually did.

"Thanks", he whispered gratefully against her hair.

...

The first light of dawn caught them still huddled together on the brown leather couch.

As he woke up, Jane vaguely wondered when they had actually fallen asleep – after silently holding each other for a very long time.

Lisbon's head was resting peacefully against his chest. He marveled at how vulnerable she looked now, her usual strength momentarily gone in her sleep.

A soft smile touched his lips. What a wonderful woman she was – always caring for him so much more than he actually deserved.

To think that she had never understood she'd been the main reason for him finally giving up his revenge. Well, actually shifting his concept of revenge into something more acceptable to the law.

He couldn't afford to hurt her – that's why he had agreed to yield Red John to the justice system of California.

And now Red John was gone at long last. The nightmare was finally over.

As he brushed away the dark hair from her forehead, he experienced a most unexpected rush of affection towards her.

His Lisbon.

He leaned forward, his lips a mere inch apart from hers. It would be so easy to kiss her right now, as she was sleeping in his arms.

Instead he gently waked her, calling her name. "Teresa?"

She stirred, her sleepy eyes barely focusing on him. "Hmm?"

"Would you be mad at me if I told you I'd like you to be the mother of my kids?"

He nearly chuckled at the dazed expression that appeared on her face. Well, for sure he could have phrased it a little better…

"I'm quite sure you heard me".

"Too old for that, Jane".

"No, you're not".

The fact that she hadn't snapped at him yet made him hope for the best. Even if she was still drowsy at the moment.

"Just promise me you're going to think about that, okay?"

"Okay", she murmured at last – as she snuggled further into his embrace.