DISCLAIMER: "The Mentalist" is copyrighted to CBS and Bruno Heller. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
TIMELINE: Set sometime during season four. AU.
SYNOPSIS: "Seriously, Jane, what is it with you and making me hide in small dark places?" Agent Teresa Lisbon grumbled irritably as she tried to shift one of her legs into a more comfortable position. What happens to Jane and Lisbon when they're left in the dark? Pure fluff. Jane/Lisbon oneshot.
IN THE DARK
"Seriously, Jane, what is it with you and making me hide in small dark places?" Agent Teresa Lisbon grumbled irritably as she tried to shift one of her legs into a more comfortable position.
They were hidden in a bedroom closet of a hotel room waiting for a killer to make his move using one of their CBI team as bait. It was late at night and the lights were out but the curtains and window had been left deliberately open. There was a half moon outside that lightened the shadows in the bedroom enough so they could see what was happening through the slats of the closet door, but not enough to produce anything more than a muted glow at best for the couple within.
"I'm sure I don't know what you mean?" came the innocent sounding voice of her consultant, Patrick Jane, from right by her side.
Lisbon snorted derisively. "And I'm sure that you do!"
"Oh hush, Lisbon. Doesn't catching the bad guy make this tiny bit of discomfort all worthwhile?"
"Tiny! Tiny? This closet is tiny, not the level of my discomfort!" she retorted, smoothing a hand along her leg as she tried to get the circulation going again. "What kind of high end hotel has a wardrobe this small for goodness sake? It's a joke!"
"Guys! I can hear you," called out Agent Van Pelt in a hushed tone. She was nervously lying in bed bracing herself for the arrival of the suspect and the bickering she could hear coming from the other side of the darkened room was aggravating.
"Sorry, Grace," Jane called out. "You know how cranky Lisbon gets without her regular half hourly intake of caffeine."
Annoyed, Lisbon kicked out her leg and caught the consultant hard on his ankle. He let out a hiss of pain that had her smiling vengefully to herself. "Sorry," she said quietly, her tone sounding anything but. "Needed to stretch my leg."
He mumbled something about, 'vicious, vindictive women,' under his breath then leaned forward to rub at the offending area.
"What was that?" she asked pleasantly.
He chose to ignore both her question and the quiet chuckle that followed it then leaned back against the wall again with a sigh.
His movement now had them sitting shoulder to shoulder and Lisbon turned her head away from him slightly as she felt the usual spark of attraction that hit her whenever they happened to touch. Even though she knew she didn't mean anything to him in a romantic sense, it hadn't stopped her own feelings developing over time and she usually did a pretty good job of hiding them…when she could walk away. Being stuck in this closet with him, however, was going to prove awkward if she didn't get at least some kind of distance between them.
Jane looked over at Lisbon as she bent her knees up and encircled them with her arms before moving forward and resting her head on top of them to stare out of the slatted door. He immediately felt bereft at the loss of contact but then realised that her change of position now meant that the small amount of moonlight that filtered through into the closet was shining on her face. Smiling softly, he slowly studied her features, memorising them for a lonely day.
Truth be told, Lisbon was the real reason he often suggested they hide out together in cramped, dark little spaces. As well as giving him the opportunity to be physically close to her without her being able to do anything about it, he was also able to just stare at her, unguardedly. It was something he never allowed himself to do in the harsh light of day. There would be too many repercussions, not least of them being that it would attract the attention of the notorious serial killer, Red John. No, he had to keep his feelings locked deep down in order to keep her safe. But here, in the dark with just the two of them, he could nudge the door open a little and let his love run free for a bit.
"No sign of him yet," she commented softly, keeping a lookout. "Are you sure this little 'play' of yours will work?"
"When have I ever been wrong?" he asked. She opened her mouth to reply but he cut her off. "Meh, I mean apart from that one time? And it still turned out OK in the end so, technically, that doesn't really count either."
"So modest," she murmured wryly.
"Just honest," he corrected with a smile. Lisbon shook her head slightly, drawing his eye to the silkiness of her hair as it caught the moonlight. His hand twitched with the urge to touch it but he held back knowing it was wrong. He needed to find a distraction. Fast. Letting out a huff of air he said the first thing that came to mind, "You wanna play a game?"
"What?" she queried in surprise. "No."
"Come on, Lisbon, I'm bored."
"Oh, well, if you're bored…" she began sardonically.
"Good!" he cut in delighted, deliberately ignoring her caustic tone.
"Please, Lisbon," he needled. "Twenty questions?"
She snorted. "Really? In the dark?"
"At least you'll get all the answers right," he pointed out reasonably.
"Truth or dare?"
She snorted again and shook her head. "In this tight a space? The dare wouldn't even be worth doing."
There was a slight pause as if he were deciding what to say.
"Oh, I don't know," Jane finally intimated in a low voice. "I can think of quite a few things we could do that'd be utterly worth it."
Afterwards, when he had time to think about it, he knew he wouldn't be sure why he'd said what he had. Whether it was the moonlight, her close proximity or the simple fact that he was just plain tired of always denying his feelings. Whatever the reason, he knew he'd just taken a step closer to the proverbial line and how she reacted next would determine whether he finally crossed it…or not.
Lisbon immediately turned her head to look at him uncertainly. It was hard to make out his face in the dimness of the closet but the innuendo had been blatant…hadn't it?
"Like what?" she asked, cringing inwardly at the breathy sound of her own voice.
The consultant moved forward, drawing up his knees and encircling his legs with his arms, mirroring her own pose as he met her gaze. Leaning towards her a little, he chided lightly, "Don't play coy, Teresa, we both know exactly what I mean."
Her heart jumped at his words and she glanced at his mouth before allowing her eyes to slide shut. Their lips were inches apart now and she could feel his warm breath skimming across her cheek as she slowly moved to meet him halfway.
The sudden sound of the bedroom door squeaking open had Lisbon snapping back to attention and pulling away from Jane before they could finally kiss. The consultant internally cursed the suspect's bad timing and raked a hand through his hair in frustration. He knew the moment was lost and that Lisbon, being true to form, would pretend nothing had happened.
He sat back as his plan for catching the killer came to fruition just as he'd expected. Van Pelt and Lisbon easily dealt with the guy and had him in cuffs before Cho and Rigsby even appeared. Lisbon read the man his rights then told the others to take him back to CBI headquarters to get his confession. It wasn't until the criminal was just about to be led away by the three other agents that Jane finally made his way out of the small wardrobe, stretching his arms above his head and yawning widely.
"Well done, all," he congratulated with a cheerful grin. "Another bad guy down, thousands to go."
Van Pelt and Rigsby rolled their eyes at his comment while Cho just looked at him with narrowed eyes. Jane held his regard, fake smile firmly in place until the other man's gaze slid to Lisbon for a moment, then back to the consultant.
Whatever he saw seemed to amuse him as his lips hitched up slightly before he looked away and headed out with the prisoner, Van Pelt and Rigsby following close behind.
Jane's smile faded and he automatically started for the door when Lisbon's irate voice stopped him in his tracks.
"And just where the hell do you think you're going?"
He briefly closed his eyes, mentally preparing himself for her tirade before opening them again. He knew letting his feelings show to her was going to come back and bite him in the ass. Raising his arms up in a gesture of surrender, he plastered a placating smile on his lips and turned to face her. "Now, Lisbon…" he began in a cajoling tone.
"Don't you want to finish our game?" she interrupted lightly as she slowly walked towards him.
The consultant looked back at her in confusion and let his arms fall to his sides. "What?"
"Truth or dare," she reminded him softly as she came to a stop in front of him. "Don't you want to play?"
Jane was speechless…almost. "I…uh…I mean…um…yes!"
Lisbon smiled. "OK then, Patrick, what'll it be? Truth…" she paused and glanced at his mouth before adding, "Or dare?"
Jane's heart skittered at the use of his Christian name and he smiled tenderly back at her while closing the distance between them a little bit more. "Dare," he whispered.
Lisbon nodded then placed her hand on his shoulder and raised herself up on tiptoes. As she leaned towards him, Jane closed his eyes and briefly felt her breath on his cheek as she moved past to place her mouth close to his ear and whisper, "I dare you to dress like a clown and ride a unicycle around the bullpen five times while juggling and whistling Dixie."
The consultant opened his eyes and looked at her in surprise. She couldn't help the chuckle that escaped and he found himself grinning back despite his disappointment. "Nicely played, but I'm afraid I'll have to forfeit, my dear," he told her regretfully. "I never learned to ride a unicycle."
He stepped back and was about the turn and go, when she unexpectedly grabbed a hold of his arm and pulled him back to her. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pressed herself against him and proposed hesitantly, "Then how about I dare you to…to finish what you started in the closet?"
And there it was, the hand offering to help him take that final step across that dammed invisible line. Grasping it with both hands, Jane slid his arms around her waist and held her back tightly.
"Now that, my love, is a dare I'm happy take again and again and again," he murmured before pressing his lips to hers in a gentle first kiss.
A/N: Hope you liked this little bit of nonsense Please review and let me know!