A/N: Written for spyglass_ and 13oct over on LJ as part of the trope meme. Probably best to give me a little bit of leeway in terms of realism on this one. Maybe just suspend disbelief a little...
"Well, that guy gave me the creeps," Lisbon said as soon as she climbed into the passenger seat.
Jane was surprised she'd held out as long as she had. He'd expected a tirade to start the second they were out of the room with their latest witness, maybe even out of earshot. He had watched her closely during their interview with Mr. Angelis; she'd definitely looked on edge. Not overwhelmed, just uncomfortable and getting more so with each passing second.
Not that Jane could blame her for that. The businessman (whose actual business was highly questionable) had been watching them from behind his desk the same way a cat watches a canary that thinks it can still escape. Jane knew the expression well; he'd employed it himself more than once over the years. Angelis' games hadn't really fazed him. Lisbon either, he would guess. She may not have enjoyed the added attention, but she'd held her own against this latest bored, rich, powerful man to want to play games with her. The only real problem with Angelis' creepy demeanour was that it made it difficult to decide whether the billionaire was playing with them because he was involved in the latest murder, or just playing with them because he was bored.
Jane glanced over at the woman next to him as she buckled her seatbelt, her movements smooth and simple. No obvious sign of weakness or uncertainty there. Jane had to admit Lisbon would be a hard temptation to resist for any man who liked to challenge authority.
Jane had seen immediately that Angelis loved to challenge authority. And Agent Teresa Lisbon was a more attractive challenge than most.
Of course, Jane kept most of those thoughts to himself. "He likes to play," Jane said aloud, agreeing with her blunt assessment of their latest interviewee. Jane waited for Lisbon to settle into her seat before starting the Citroen. "Angelis wanted to mix things up, see what happens."
Lisbon smirked. "Part of the job description of a chemical engineer?"
"I believe he used the term chemical entrepreneur," Jane replied, smiling back.
Lisbon shrugged. "Only because I doubt he has an actual engineering degree."
"Oh, our friend back there has training of some kind," Jane assured her. "His exact level of education doesn't really matter in the end. He knows enough to dabble."
"What do you think he's dabbling in, exactly?" Lisbon asked, stretching out against her seat, trying to relieve some of the tension in her spine. She'd quite literally felt on edge almost from the first minute they'd walked into Angelis' office and she was hoping to rid herself of the feeling. Jane's car may have been impractical, and well, a little bit ridiculous, but at least it was familiar. Comforting even. She'd never really given it much thought before, but after escaping Angelis' lair, which had smelled of incense, various spices, the man's overwhelming cologne, and she didn't even want to think what else, Lisbon was relieved to be safe in the Citroen. Jane's car just smelled so much simpler. Vaguely of dust from the recent drought, mixed with the faint smell of Jane (whose cologne smelled much crisper and just a little bit musky). Lisbon took a deep breath, clearing her lungs. "Jane?" she asked after a moment, when she realized he hadn't answered her.
Her voice drew him out of his thoughts. "Hm?" he murmured, glancing over at her stretching out in her seat, his attention caught briefly by the pulse beating against her throat.
"Angelis," Lisbon prompted softly. "What do you think he's up to?"
Well, that was the question, wasn't it? Jane considered his answer, forcing his attention away from the way Lisbon was rolling her neck against the seat to work out the kinks and back to the case at hand. Angelis liked to play, but given his obvious business success, Jane wasn't sure he was the type to play when he had a lot to risk. Far more likely that he'd just toy with them and lead them on a merry chase in the wrong direction just for the fun of it. On the other hand, maybe success had made him reckless so he was looking for a little fun. "I'm not sure yet," Jane admitted. "We'll have to wait and see. Unfortunately, I don't think we can rule out our friend in the murder quite yet."
Lisbon sighed. It wasn't a surprising answer, but she'd been hoping for more. Jane's eyes had been on the room, as they always were. She'd known he'd been hanging back, watching Angelis, watching her. She'd felt his concern when Angelis' smarm had tried to weasel its way past her defences. She hadn't let it, but she'd been glad to have Jane around for backup. It was a relief sometimes, not having to watch everyone in a room because you knew you had a consultant standing just behind you doing it for you.
Lisbon sometimes wondered what Jane saw, what he put together in that brain of his. It made her uncomfortable when she thought too much about it, knowing how often he probably watched her. But she could deal with it, because most of the time he was on her side. And when she had to go into the office of a creep like Angelis, Jane was a good person to have around keeping an eye out.
Besides, he looked almost suave leaning against a bookshelf in his three piece suit, keeping an eye on things.
"Don't worry Lisbon," Jane murmured. "If he did it, we'll get him. I'm just not sure that he did."
"Too bad," Lisbon muttered.
Jane chuckled, her obvious annoyance loosening something in him. "Why Agent Lisbon, I thought officers of the law were supposed to remain impartial."
Lisbon grumbled to herself, deliberately hiding her pleasure at managing to briefly coax out his dimples. He really needed to smile more. "I am impartial," she insisted. "I'm not going to arrest Angelis if he didn't commit a crime, but you can't blame me for wishing that the creep be guilty. You weren't the one he was looking at like..."
Jane's eyes lit up. "Like what?" he prompted.
Her cheeks flushed an attractive pink. "You know what," she muttered.
"Do I?" Jane asked, though he definitely did.
"I hate you," she growled, ignoring the heat rushing to her face. God damn Jane for being able to make her feel this foolish. She decided to turn her irritation back towards the Greek letch she'd had to deal with for the last half hour. "And I hate the way he looked at me. Made my skin crawl."
"I'm sorry you were uncomfortable, Lisbon," Jane told her softly, his voice designed to soothe. "But maybe you should be flattered."
"Why?" she demanded. "You said it yourself, he was obviously just looking for someone to play with."
"I think you could give him a run for his money," Jane assured her. He'd have liked to see that, Agent Lisbon taking their Angelis down a peg or two. Particularly if she wasn't hampered by tact or political considerations. He imagined she'd be a thing of beauty. Not that she wasn't most of the time anyway, but watching her put a spoiled billionaire in his place would be an irresistible combination.
"I don't want to talk about it," Lisbon retorted, deliberately ignoring the affectionate smile on his face. She didn't like it when he looked at her like that. It made her feel... self-conscious.
"What would you like to talk about then?" Jane wondered.
"I don't know; I want to have a shower," Lisbon growled.
Distracted, Jane didn't reply for a moment. Then he cleared his throat. "I wouldn't have let him toy with you, Lisbon."
The quiet conviction in his voice almost made her shiver, even if the implication that he might be able to rush in and save her was irritating. She was perfectly capable to deal with creeps like Angelis. She'd been doing it long before she'd met Jane, thank you very much.
Lisbon sighed. Shutting her eyes, she took a deep breath, determined to cleanse the remnants of the smarmy businessman from her brain. Jane's cologne seemed stronger now, closer, safer. Probably amplified in the small space of the car. "I know," she admitted after a moment, letting herself relax. After all, she didn't need him, but it was kinda nice that he was there. If she wanted.
Jane smiled to himself when she shifted slightly closer to him. Lisbon wasn't big on perfume, but she used the most intriguing bath products. She'd recently shifted to one that smelled faintly of lavender and verbena. He liked it.
In fact, she seemed to be wearing more of it than usual, though Jane wasn't sure how that was possible, given that it was probably a body wash of some kind. His eyes flicked over her again as he tried to figure out the mystery. It wasn't that important, but he'd never been able to resist a puzzle. After all, either Lisbon had gone a little heavy on the body wash this morning, or he was somehow more sensitive to it, and he didn't see how that...
Jane's heart gave a great thud as he suddenly gripped the steering wheel just a little too tightly. He immediately ordered himself to calm down, steadying his breathing to slow his heartbeat.
That action brought with it a whole host of questions about what exactly was going on. He shouldn't need to slow his heart rate. He hadn't been doing any physical exercise. He hadn't been in a scenario that would cause a spike in adrenaline, or set off a fight or flight response.
And yet his heart was beating slightly too quickly. Not only that, but it was taken actual effort to bring it back under control. Not a lot of effort, of course, but some. Jane was reasonably certain that it had taken more effort than usual. Taking another breath in and out, Jane did a mental check of his own physiological state. Not only was his pulse slightly erratic (almost skittery, which didn't bode well), but his breathing was a touch heavy and his skin felt almost over-sensitive. Now, his systems were likely interconnected, so it was probable that whichever one was out of balance was affecting the others. But which was the source of them all? Probably his increased heart rate, since he'd noticed it first. More importantly though, what had caused it?
He wasn't sick. He wasn't angry, or emotional, or frightened, or worried. And he certainly wasn't...
Jane's breath caught in his throat. That wasn't possible though. He was around her all the time. There was absolutely no reason for...
As he stopped at a red light, Jane glanced at his companion again. Lisbon was practically snuggled up in the passenger seat. She'd curled towards him, her eyes closed, obviously still trying to relax. He had a good view most her face, her hair half covering one cheek, her lips slightly parted, and her eyelids fluttering slightly. Jane's gaze skimmed down her neck, lingering again on her pulse before travelling down, admiring the slim fitted cut of her jacket, nipping in at her waist, before moving out along her hips and along her legs...
That probably wasn't good.
He swallowed thickly, ignoring the new spike in his heart rate. "Uh, Lisbon?"
"Hmmm?" she hummed, the sound sending vibrations along his skin.
Jane wasn't entirely sure about the wisdom of telling her, but didn't quite see a way around it. All things considered, it seemed important that somebody know. "I don't want to alarm you, but I think I may have been drugged."
Lisbon's eyes popped open immediately. "What?" she demanded.
Jane kept his eyes fixed on the road. He did not need to see her eyes wide and concerned right now. Particularly since her hair was slightly dishevelled from her earlier attempts to get comfortable. "Calm down," he said. "I'm sure I'm in no immediate danger. Whatever the drug's effects are, if there is a drug, they appear to be minor."
"Pull over," Lisbon ordered.
"We're four blocks from our motel," Jane reminded her.
"Jane," she said, her voice sounding (deliciously) dangerous. "Pull over now."
"I told you," Jane replied, ignoring her order (among other things). "I feel perfectly fine. Well, not perfectly fine, but mostly fine. I'm certainly capable of driving a few blocks."
Lisbon pinched the bridge of her nose and tried a different approach. "What makes you think you've been drugged?"
Jane shifted slightly in his seat, taking the final turn to their motel. This is where it got tricky. "My heart rate is slightly elevated," he told her finally.
Lisbon just stared at him for a moment. "I'm sorry, what?"
Jane sighed. "My heart rate is slightly elevated," he repeated, pulling into the parking lot.
Lisbon felt her own heart rate slow in relief. "That's it?" she checked.
"Well, yes," Jane told her. "Okay, no, not exactly."
"What do you mean by not exactly?" Lisbon asked.
Jane decided to sidestep the question. "Can we go inside?" It might be a lengthy discussion, and quite frankly, he'd rather not have it in his car. The atmosphere in the car was getting too close. She was kept at a fixed distance away from him in the passenger seat. At least in the motel room Lisbon and her body wash might be able to move several yards away.
"Huh?" Lisbon murmured, watching his profile carefully. She watched him swallow. Jane looked almost nervous. And he wouldn't look at her. That was enough to make her take him seriously, as crazy as he sounded right now.
"The motel," Jane clarified, finally looking at her. "We're here. Can we have this conversation inside? My room's closest, but we can go to yours if you'd prefer."
"Why would it matter whose room we go to?" Lisbon wondered, trying to wrap her head around what was going on. She was having quite the afternoon. First she'd had to deal with a slimeball businessman, and now, just when she'd finally started to relax a little afterwards, Jane was telling her he might have been drugged. Because his heart rate was elevated.
Lisbon gave him a subtle once over. He certainly didn't look like he'd been drugged. Actually, Jane looked to be in just about perfect health. He was as handsome as ever, looking almost relaxed, driving his slightly ridiculous car wearing his slightly ridiculous three piece suit, all of which suited him better than anything else ever could, of course. Lisbon had long ago learned that most of what was going on with Jane lurked beneath the surface, but there really wasn't anything obvious to notice. Not even something subtle. He wasn't pale or clammy, he wasn't shaking or hyperactive, he obviously wasn't having trouble focussing. Lisbon flicked her eyes up to check his pupils, pausing to enjoy his slightly dishevelled curls along the way. His eyes may have been slightly glassy, but it was hard to tell. He was certainly looking at her intently.
Not that she minded. As she'd said, she was used to it.
"It doesn't matter whose room we choose," Jane said, finally opening the door and getting out of the car. He'd been watching her watch him, and if pressed, he'd have to admit that her scrutiny hadn't exactly been unpleasant. "Mine it is then," he said when she didn't answer. He walked quickly towards the door, fishing for his key card in his pocket.
Lisbon followed him out of the car, jogging a few steps to catch up to him. Jane definitely wasn't quite acting like himself. Maybe something was wrong. She reached a hand around his elbow just as he reached his room. "I'm sorry Jane," she said softly, trying to offer comfort. "It's just, what you're saying sounds so strange. Are you sure you're alright?"
Jane met her eyes. Lisbon thought she saw something flash in his before his attention shifted down to the hand around his elbow. He seemed oddly fascinated by it all of a sudden. Without another word, he slid his own hand along her jacket to her waist and helped propel her into his room before letting the door shut behind them.
"Oh, I think I'm fine, Teresa," Jane assured her, fascinated by the way that the smell of lavender and verbena hadn't seemed to dissipate even though they were out of the closed confines of the Citroen. "Physically at least."
"What..." Lisbon murmured, suddenly confused. This was definitely different, but even so, Jane's hand at her waist was solid and soothing. She realized that her own hand had travelled up to his bicep; he didn't seem to mind though, so she left it there.
"I told you," Jane murmured. "I'm not in any immediate danger. I just..."
"You think your heart is beating slightly faster than normal," Lisbon filled in.
"And I'm having more trouble than usual controlling it," Jane added. No need to mention his other... suspicions unless he absolutely had to.
Lisbon bit her lip, glancing down at his chest, where, presumably, his heart was beating away underneath all of his layers of clothing. "I'm really not trying to be unsympathetic here Jane, but is that it?"
Jane exhaled slowly, resisting the urge to touch her with his other hand. Talking in the motel room might allow him greater distance in theory, but it was a moot point if he refused to take advantage of that ability. He was surprised she hadn't noticed how close they were yet. Of course, she was probably hung up on the whole potential drugging issue. Or maybe she had noticed and...
Jane filed that particular thought away to deal with later.
"It's a big deal for me, Lisbon," he assured her. "I can... I mean... I basically sent myself into cardiac arrest once to catch a killer. When I say that I can control my heart rate, I mean, I can control my heart rate. Unless something's wrong, like stress or sickness..."
"And since you apparently don't get sick," Lisbon murmured.
"And there's no reason for me to be under stress just standing here with you, is there?" Jane asked, his tone low.
For some reason his question made Lisbon shudder. She almost felt like his voice was creeping into her brain sideways. "No," she admitted. "There isn't. It's not that I don't believe you, and I hate to keep going back to this, but are you..."
"I'm sure," Jane assured her, shutting his eyes briefly, trying to block out her face watching him, equal parts anxious and affectionate. He liked it when she looked at him like that, like she liked him; she didn't do it often. Usually she was too busy being annoyed. And usually when she did look at him like she was now, it wasn't a problem, not when he was in control. But today... Jane swallowed. "I'm sure, Lisbon. I just don't feel right. I'm not worried that I'm going to keel over any second now. There's no need for you to phone the paramedics, but I'm also just off. All the other causes of my symptoms don't seem to apply here, so drugging is the obvious conclusion. And I thought someone should know."
"Okay," Lisbon said softly, rubbing her thumb lightly against his arm in an attempt to ease his distress. Whether Jane was drugged or not, he was certainly taking it seriously, which meant that she would as well. "It's okay Jane. We'll figure this out, whatever it is."
Jane nodded, suddenly relieved. There. She knew. Not all of it, but enough. She could help him. It was better this way. Hopefully. Maybe he should have holed up in his hotel room alone, but what if the drug in his system did turn out to be dangerous? He had no reason to suspect it would be (quite the opposite actually, given the probable source), but Lisbon was always telling him he needed to stop taking so many risks. She could be his safety net, even if she was also a risk of a whole other kind.
She certainly wasn't steadying his heart rate.
Jane dropped his hand from her waist, determined to be logical.
He was about to suggest that maybe she should just go so he could try and catch a nap even though he knew would be a futile suggestion. No way would she leave him now that he'd told her he was worried he'd been drugged by a crazy Greek billionaire. (He couldn't help wondering if that fact had been lurking in the back of his mind all along, because the last thing part of him wanted was for her to leave.) Before he could say anything at all, Lisbon spoke.
"So what are the effects of this potential drug?" Lisbon asked. "Besides the increased heart rate?" She couldn't tell if he was having any other issues. He definitely looked uncomfortable though. She suddenly had the craziest urge to wrap her arms around him and tell him it would be alright.
Jane took a step back and began pacing slowly in front of the bed. "I'm not sure know," he said eventually. He had his suspicions, but... "Really, my symptoms are so slight." He stared at her, taking in her boots, her clothes, her posture, her face. Christ, Lisbon was attractive. Actually stunning. She was stunning.
But he'd always thought she was stunning. She was Lisbon.
He was supposed to ignore it. And usually he did. Not today, apparently.
It was hard to know how that fit into things, and what exactly it meant.
Lisbon walked towards him, noting that he seemed to be sweating ever so slightly. She placed a hand on his forehead. "Well, you don't feel hot."
"I told you," Jane reminded her. "I'm not sick."
"And no drugs have ever been known to cause a fever," Lisbon replied sarcastically.
That made him smile. "I just, everything feels more. I feel like my heart's beating slightly too fast. Some of the things that I touch feels slightly more real. My senses are slightly more attuned, to certain things at least. And I don't know what's different. If anything is being targeted, or if just because everything is slightly enhanced, that the things that feel like they might be being targeted feel that way."
Lisbon was biting her lip again. Jane really wished she wouldn't do that. "What feels like it's being targeted then?" she asked softly.
"Things that I can usually keep better control of," Jane said, his voice dipping low.
Lisbon's skin prickled. She finally felt like she was getting somewhere, making progress, though she wasn't sure towards what. She kept her eyes on his. He had such nice eyes... even if he might be slightly drug-addled. "Is there anything new?" she asked, still softly.
Jane shook his head, wondering if she realized how intimate her voice sounded in the otherwise quiet room. "No, nothing's new. Just more. And I don't know why."
Lisbon swallowed. Hard. She realized suddenly that there was a lot she didn't know about Jane. And even more that they didn't know about this situation. Her own worries (more personal, selfish worries) were starting to creep around the edges of her brain. She quashed them immediately; far better to try to stick to facts. "How do you think it happened?"
"Hard to pinpoint the source," Jane replied. "After all, Angelis' room already smelled so strongly that anything airborne would have been almost undetectable. I certainly wasn't injected with anything, but he did insist on making us taste those damn chocolates he'd just brought back from Greece I had two."
Lisbon's gasp cut through the tenuous calm in room. "I had one."
"I know," Jane told her. She'd been beside him all day, done everything he'd done. He'd been watching her closely, trying to see if she was... okay. But at this point he was hardly objective. She probably wasn't either.
"Do you think I was drugged?" Lisbon asked, her voice shaking as panic rose in her throat.
"I honestly don't know," Jane told her, though the possibility had to be acknowledged. "If it was in the chocolate, you only had half the dose I did."
"I also have about half your body mass," Lisbon reminded him.
Jane scowled, taking a few steps back as he took in her trim little body. He knew he didn't go to the gym that often, but really. He was hardly overweight. Just because he didn't have the strength (and muscle tone) to knock someone twice his size to the ground, "It's not half..."
"That is so not anywhere near the point right now!" Lisbon snapped at him. And anyway, it wasn't what she'd meant. Jane may not have been the image of perfect male fitness, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. She'd always thought he made up for it in other areas. His hands, for example, were lovely. Sometimes, when he wasn't looking, she liked to watch them. But that wasn't the point either... Oh this was such a mess.
"Right," Jane murmured apologetically, remembering that this was actually about her right now, and trying to ease her fears. "Sorry. Anyway, we don't even know if there was anything in the chocolates."
"Yeah, but how would we know if there was?" Lisbon asked, obviously panicking now. "I don't even know if something's wrong! Last time... I..."
Jane was beside her again in a flash, his hand rubbing soothing circles on her back. Last time. Of course. Of course that's where her mind would go. He'd kill Angelis. Once the two of them were out of this mess, he'd find the Greek scumbag and cause him no end of pain for putting that expression on her face. He wouldn't let her relive the last time. He wouldn't watch her fall apart again. He refused. This was why neither of them should be alone. Jane drew her closer to him, not letting himself be distracted by the softness of her cheek against his chin. "Shhh," he whispered in her ear. "It'll be okay, Lisbon. It will."
Lisbon gasped as his breath rustled through her hair. She hated that his arms around her felt this good. But they did. They felt warm, and comforting, and now she could feel the well-worn fabric of his suit and smell the hints of laundry detergent mixed in with his cologne. She tried not to think about whether her heart might have been beating slightly too quickly or not. Instead, she decided to focus on Jane's breath tickling the side of her head. She exhaled slowly and decided that she probably deserved a hug. After all, she might have been drugged against her will. No one would begrudge her a hug from a friend. They would figure it out. They would keep an eye on each other. It would be okay. It would.
Jane continued with his circles on her back for another few seconds. "You're not acting any differently," he assured her. He didn't think she was at least. "How do you feel?"
Lisbon glared at him. The question had been one she'd been trying to answer herself. "I'm worried that a crazy Greek billionaire slipped me something and I have no idea what it is!"
"How did you feel before that then," Jane told her with a smile and pulling back slightly.
Lisbon suddenly wanting nothing more than to wipe that ridiculous smirk off his face. She could think of a few ways. "Jane!"
"Relax, Lisbon," Jane murmured, noting that her anger had caused her eyes to darken, which had in turn caused his heart rate to go a bit skittery again. He was beginning to suspect any strong emotion from her would probably have similar results. Well, not any strong emotion. When she'd been upset, he hadn't really thought too much about that at all. Although, he had gathered her up in his arms without the slightest provocation, which was probably no better. Clearly they both just needed to keep calm, and maybe they'd get through the night. "Angelis maybe a creep, but he's not stupid. Not stupid enough to drug a cop without a very good reason. Whatever this is, it's probably subtle."
"So you say," Lisbon growled, not sure if she wanted to hit him or... not. She took a step backwards, trying o figure out how she felt. Still close enough for reassurance, but far enough that she felt like she was standing on her own two feet.
"So I say," Jane agreed, trying to keep his voice calm. "Anyway, we don't even know if you've been drugged. How were you feeling before I told you about the drug?"
Lisbon considered the question. After all, he was right. They needed to get to the bottom of this as best they could. "I was trying to relax."
"Okay," Jane said, his voice calm and even. Part of Lisbon's brain recognized it as the tone he took when he was trying to soothe a subject, but suddenly she didn't much care. Maybe, just this once, she deserved to be relaxed. Lisbon shut her eyes, trying to take stock of things in her body, the way Jane must all the time. She listened to the steady rhythm of his breathing (it didn't seem to be accelerated, not as far as she could tell). Having Jane trying to poke around in her brain wasn't ideal, but it was better than the panic that it had replaced. And anyway, she could trust Jane with this. After all, he'd trusted her.
The idea made her smile. She continued. "I was trying to forget about creepy Angelis and his creepy office; It made me feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin."
"Right," Jane muttered, trying to focus on what Lisbon was saying. Her sudden smile had distracted him, all the more because he didn't know its cause. She was standing, practically in his arms, her eyes closed, but awake. She as closer than she usually was. That was a change. He wondered if she'd become suggestible... That thought sent his heart rate right past skittery straight to elevated.
Jane forced himself to take a deep breath (and ignored the tingling in his fingertips aching to touch). She wasn't acting suggestible, just frightened (that thought acted as a more effective check on his traitorous heart than anything else he'd done all night). And anyway, the drug (if there was a drug), wasn't making him compliant, it was making him more aware, of what exactly was still up for debate.
Lisbon was probably just more aware too.
The fact that she'd felt like her skin as crawling in Angelis' office might indicate some kind of enhanced sensation of some kind. Or it could just indicate that Angelis was a rodent. It was hard to say. Surely if Lisbon's senses were artificially heightened, she'd be stepping away from him, not moving closer.
Why wasn't she stepping away?
He wasn't stepping away either. But then, he found her attractive. He liked touching her. Whether this increased sensory awareness was focussed specifically on her or not, any increase in perception where she was concerned was overwhelmingly positive. Whereas, in Lisbon's case, well... She didn't... After all, there was no way... She couldn't possibly...
She must be searching for simple human comfort. Human beings craved touch. Jane knew that. He was just better than most at ignoring it.
Lisbon was probably overwhelmed and reverting to what was familiar.
That had to be it.
Lisbon concentrated on her breathing. After all, that was what Jane was always telling people to do when he wanted them to relax. In and out, in and out. She caught the scent of Jane's cologne mixed with his laundry detergent again. It was a nice combination. Jane. Jane was good at figuring out puzzles. Really, they should probably just both go the hospital, but she didn't want to. She didn't like hospitals. And she felt safe here, with Jane.
Jane still hadn't answered her question though; Lisbon opened her eyes with a frown. She found him watching her closely. "Do you think I've been drugged?" she asked.
Jane knew he couldn't rule out the possibility, and he hesitated just a second too long.
He watched as the little bubble of calm she'd found for herself washed right out of her face. "Oh god."
Jane saw her breathing accelerate.
"Lisbon calm down," he told her, grabbing her arm. "Please, calm down."
Her eyes were wide and wild. "How can you tell me that?" she asked. She might have been drugged. How could she calm down?
Jane ignored the sudden urge to wrap his arms around her. "I don't know if you've been drugged," he reminded her.
"But you think I might have been," Lisbon replied.
"I think we both might have been," he corrected, trying to ignore the sea of emotions in her eyes.
"Jane..." she whispered.
"It's okay, Lisbon. It'll be okay. I promise," he said, again and again, determined to make her feel it.
Without realizing what she was doing, Lisbon buried her head against his shoulder, breathing in the familiar smell of him. "Jane, I can't. I just, I can't. Not again."
This time, Jane did wrap her arms around her, trying to ignore the sensations of her hair against his cheek. "No, no. Not like that," he promised her. It wouldn't be like last time for her. He would do everything in his power to prevent it.
"How can you know?" she whispered against his neck, her fingers rustling over the softness of his suit jacket.
"What did you do last night?" Jane asked, breathing the question against her ear.
She arched against him in response, craving the comfort. "I drove out here with you. To interview Angelis, among other things. You know that!"
Jane smiled against her hair, the sensation of it sliding against his lips was so sensitive it was almost painful. "And so do you," he pointed out. "You remember yesterday. Do you remember this morning? And last week?"
Lisbon felt her thundering heart slow a little as his words slid through her brain. "Yes."
"So do I," Jane assured her, rubbing his hand up her back from her waist to just below the base of her neck. "No blackouts."
"No blackouts," Lisbon whispered. He was right. She didn't feel at all like she had last time. In hindsight, last time she'd felt a little like she was living in a bit of a fog. This wasn't anything like that. If anything it was the opposite. She could almost feel the ridges of his fingerprints through her shirt. "But..."
"I promise," Jane assured her. "We'll stay in this room all night if we have to, but we'll get through it."
Lisbon felt her heart give a great thump. Spend the night, with Jane? In his hotel room? "Jane..."
"We can go over the case," he cajoled. "That's what we'll do all night. We'll remember that. If not, we'll make notes."
Lisbon felt her head start to swim, about a hundred feelings rushing for dominance. "I..."
Jane pulled back to meet her eyes. "Would you like me to write a note right now, just in case we don't remember?"
She hesitated. The idea managed to be simultaneously absurd and practical.
"I'll write it down," Jane promised her, forcing himself to pull away. He barely managed to suppress a moan as he lost contact. Shaking his head slightly, he marched across the room and rummaging around the desk in the room until he found the pad of paper with the motel's logo on it. "Here, I'll put the note by the phone."
Lisbon glanced at the note, trying to ignore the feeling of loss that came when he let go of her. Lisbon and Jane spent all night in this room going over the case. They did not leave as they suspected having been drugged by one M. Angelis during an earlier visit to his office and Lisbon was concerned about needing an alibi. Plus, Jane figured there was safety in numbers.
Laughter bubbled up in Lisbon's throat as she read it before she ordered herself to get it together.
She raised her eyes to meet his. "You sure you don't need to go to a hospital?"
"And say what Lisbon?" Jane asked. "We may or may not have been drugged against our will by a rich, influential local businessman, and our only symptom is one slightly elevated heart rate between the two of us? What do you think the hospital is going to say?"
Lisbon paused. He had a point. "Right."
"Besides," Jane murmured, watching her closely. "I know you'll look after me."
Lisbon bit her lip again. "And who's going to look after me?"
Jane held her eyes. "You know I will."
This time, Lisbon definitely felt her heart accelerate. "Jane," she whispered.
"Yes," he murmured, still watching her from the other side of the room.
"I think I may have been drugged," she told him. She knew what he meant. It was hard to pinpoint her symptoms exactly, but something just felt wrong.
To his credit, Jane didn't even flinch. "I know."
Lisbon swallowed. "Jane?" she whispered again.
"Yes," he answered just as softly.
Lisbon took a breath. "We should probably order some dinner."
Jane laughed suddenly, the sound breaking some of the tension in the little room. "Do we want to play it safe and stick with pizza, or should we try the little Italian place they left a menu for on the table?"
Lisbon considered the question. "Do they have garlic bread?"
Jane smiled. "Yes."
She found a smile of her own. "With cheese?"
"Then I want that," she told him. "And spaghetti."
"And meatballs?" Jane checked.
Lisbon nodded. "Yeah."
"I'll call," Jane told her.
"Okay," she murmured, trying not to fidget.
"It'll be okay," he told her again.
Lisbon nodded. Then she glanced around. She was in Jane's room. "Jane?" she asked.
"Yes?" he wondered.
"While you order, I'm going to go grab a few things from my room. Maybe change into something more comfortable. May as well, if I'm staying here for the night."
Jane thought he hid his increased breathing rate quite well. "For safety reasons," he reminded her.
Lisbon breathed out slowly. "For safety reasons," she nodded.
"Okay," he told her. "But if you're not back in fifteen minutes, I'm coming to find you."
"Bite me," she said, flashing him a grin.
When she was gone, Jane leaned his head against the wall and waited for the restaurant to answer the phone. He wondered what he'd just gotten himself into.
Dinner was fairly quiet. There wasn't a lot to say that hadn't already been said, and under the circumstances small talk was impossible. So they mostly just sat in silence. The food was good, particularly flavourful. Lisbon loved the extra oregano they'd put in their tomato sauce. Although it was possible that was less the food itself and more the drugs.
The drugs. Lisbon felt anxiety brewing in her gut again. She was eating her dinner on one of the double beds, plate of spaghetti in her lap, her legs stretched out in front of her. She reminded herself that so far she felt mostly fine. Sure, her skin was prickling a little, and she could feel every breath of wind that made it through the half opened window. She could feel the springs in the mattress beneath her and smell the mushrooms in Jane's pasta.
Lisbon knew she wasn't feeling quite normal, but nothing felt dangerous. Her mind was fine. She was in control. As long as she kept a hold of that thought, she'd be able to get through the night.
Lisbon trailed her fork through the remains of her spaghetti. Night time was when things got tricky. Because eventually she'd have to get some sleep. What if sleep changed things? What if she woke up and couldn't remember? True to his word, Jane had been taking notes and he'd joked about putting a chair in front of the door in case either of them tried sleepwalking, but...
She needed to calm down. She was fine. Safe. Lisbon set her spaghetti to one side and ran her hands along the comforter sure she was feeling the scratch of each and every single coarse thread.
She needed a distraction. Now. She glanced over at Jane who was mirroring her position on the other bed and broke the silence between them. "Jane?"
"Yes?" Jane asked, turning towards her and regretting it almost immediately.
Lisbon had definitely dressed down. Her hair was tied back in a messy bun at her neck. She'd changed into jeans and an oversized t-shirt, an outfit that seemed positively designed to make him forget that they worked together. And to make matters worse, he was fairly certain he'd caught a glimpse of some pyjama pants in the bag she'd brought with her.
If that wasn't enough, she'd obviously been enjoying her dinner. He was sure she hadn't been aware of it, but she'd practically hummed her approval with every bite.
He was thankful the motel room had two double beds.
Lisbon turned towards him slightly to ask her question. "Before, when you said that it was hard to know exactly what effect the drug was having, what did you mean? I'd have thought the effect was fairly obvious."
Jane winced. That would be her question. He glanced away, focussing on the room's hideously ugly wallpaper. "I only meant that it was hard to know if the drug was acting universally on my sensory system, or if it was causing a very specific set of feelings."
Lisbon frowned. "What?"
Jane shut his eyes for a second. "Basically Lisbon, I'm not sure if the changes the drug is causing are somehow specific to this particular situation." If the effecs were somehow specific to her.
Suddenly, Jane couldn't sit still anymore. He stood quickly and walked across the room, setting the remains of his meal on the table, and shoving his hands in his pockets.
Lisbon frowned. She didn't see what that had to do with anything. The drug was obviously affecting their sensory systems somehow. Did it matter how specific the reaction was? After all, they'd have closed themselves off for safety either way. And there really hadn't been a huge range of things for them to experience in this hotel room. Really, the only thing that she was reacting to with any consistency was Jane himself, and...
Lisbon's breath caught in her throat as the realization hit her.
He'd said earlier that he was worried the drug was specifically targeting things he usually kept better control of.
She had a frightening feeling she knew exactly what he meant.
After all, she'd been exposed to the same drug, and she'd been reacting to one thing more than anything else too. So either everything she was feeling right now was amplified, or she was only reacting to Jane because... Because that was all that was amplified. And she hadn't noticed the specificity of the reaction because he was the only thing around. And if the drug only targetted...
But how could Jane be confused about that on his side? Obviously she was the only person around for him to react to, but Jane wasn't... he didn't... Lisbon swallowed. He'd never... There was no way that was a problem for Jane, no way he'd even considered...
She swore her hands began to tremble as her breathing became quick and shallow.
He didn't. He couldn't. There was no way. She'd... she'd known that for years.
But now she had to know for sure.
She glanced at him again. He looked agitated. He was practically pacing around the front of the hotel room.
Setting her plate on the table between the beds, Lisbon crawled across the bed. She kneeled on the end and placed a hand on his shoulder. The heat from the contact shot down her arm and stopped him in his tracks. Pushing slightly, Lisbon forced Jane to meet her eyes.
This time her gasp was audible.
His pupils were dark. Dark, intense, and dilated.
When people see things they want, their pupils dilate.
Now it was Jane's turn to gasp. He lunged towards her instinctively, bracing his other hand beside her on the bed. He towered over her as she kneeled on the bed, completely unable to tear his eyes from her face but not quite daring to touch her.
Lisbon was suddenly frozen in spite of the heat she could feel from his body only inches from her own. She felt vulnerable, her position making her even shorter than she normally was, but she couldn't say the experience was entirely unpleasant. She bit her lip as her fingertips started to tingle in what she could only assume was anticipation.
Her eyes scanned Jane's face, trying to decide what he was thinking. As her gaze dropped to his mouth, she realized his breath was coming out in hot and fast.
The knowledge was enough to thaw her into motion.
Raising her gaze again to watch his eyes carefully, Lisbon trailed her had slowly down the length of his arm until she reached the end of his sleeve. She stroked her thumb over his wrist to the base of his index finger. Once. Twice. Three times.
"Lisbon," Jane whispered. His voice sounded hoarse to his own ears.
"Yes?" she whispered back, not breaking eye contact.
"What are you doing?" he murmured.
She stroked her thumb along his wrist again, before letting her hand slide back up to where it had been.
"I don't know," she admitted. She didn't know, and for once, she didn't care.
Jane told himself that he cared. That that this had to stop, though it took him a second to remember why. "We've been drugged," he reminded her.
Lisbon nodded. "I know." She stroked her thumb against his shoulder.
Jane gritted his teeth. "That doesn't worry you?" he whispered, trying to ignore the hints of her body wash that he could still smell.
Lisbon shrugged. "Like you said, it looks like all the drug does is amplify."
The implications of that nearly overwhelmed him. Jane just blinked. It was all he could do. Because he certainly couldn't deny it, not from his side. The drug certainly hadn't created anything new. And if Lisbon, if she meant that... He stared at her trying not to tremble as her thumb continued to stroke him.
Before, when he'd touched her. It had felt good. He'd known it had. Of course it had. It always did. And even if it had been a questionable choice under the circumstances, he'd done it anyway. She'd been upset. She'd needed comfort.
The eyes that watched him now didn't need comforting. And the fingers he could feel inching along his shoulder to his neck were sending quite another message. When her index finger swept along the edge of his collar bone, her touch sliced straight through his best intentions.
Slowly he shifted towards her, finally daring to reach up and slide a hand along her arm, past her shoulder, finally trailing his middle finger along the line of his chin. Finally allowing himself to focus on the unbelievable softness of her skin.
When Lisbon's eyes fluttered shut, Jane desperately tried to get his heart rate back down to something normal.
"This is a bad idea," he said, bending closer to murmur the words against her ear (and trying to convince himself that they hadn't been working towards this the second he'd suggested they share the room). In direct opposition to his words, he undid the makeshift bun at the back of her neck, freeing her hair so he could feel it against his fingers.
Lisbon's spine curved towards him, halving the space between them to barely an inch (bringing her almost close enough to touch). "Maybe," she whispered back, sliding her hand into his hair. God, she'd always known it would be soft. But now with super-sensitive fingertips... She moaned softly, revelling in the arousal pooling inside of her that was trying to take over.
Jane's other hand found her hip, holding her firmly. He felt her gasp against his cheek. He slid his fingers along her waist, keeping his hand low, lower than he should have.
Lisbon didn't seem to mind though, if her second sigh was anything to go by.
That was when Jane gave up on monitoring his heart rate all together.
The rhythm of her breath warm on his neck was more important anyway.
Lisbon was almost painfully aware of every inch of her body that was in contact with his. The smell of his skin, the touch of his fingers, the sound of his breathing and the look on his face. He was making her head spin. Jane was making her head spin and he was still barely touching her. It was ridiculous, but it was true. She cried out when felt the fingers on the small of her back creep another inch lower.
Sliding her fingers out of his hair, Lisbon tightened her arm around his shoulder and buried her face in his neck craving more contact. She brushed her lips against the pulse at his throat with an almost embarrassingly audible moan.
At least, she probably would have been embarrassed if Jane hadn't drowned it out with one of his own. Lisbon barely had time to smile in pure feminine delight before she felt his arms tighten as he crushed her to him.
"Teresa," he whispered, pressing the barest brush of a kiss against her cheek. He could feel her hair against his face again. The arousal was positively singing through his veins now, and it was only amplified by whatever was in their systems. Jane nuzzled her hair again. So soft, so pretty...
Lisbon's hand that wasn't currently wrapped around his shoulders shot up to his cheek, before tangling in his hair to encourage him closer. She wasn't sure that speech was possible right now.
"Teresa," he murmured again, against the skin of her cheek before the sound was muffled by his kiss.
She felt his lips flit over her jaw, to her earlobe, just under her temple, hovering near the corner of her eye for a few seconds before slowly back down her face, whispering her name after every kiss.
His heart was racing. His heart was racing and he was desperate. Desperate to touch her, desperate to hear her, desperate to see her, desperate to taste, desperate to feel. He could feel her breath coming out in pants against his face. He could smell her body wash and the hints of the spaghetti she'd been eating and just, her. He risked a glance at her face.
Lisbon's eyes were closed again, her lips slightly parted as she tried to catch her breath.
Jane knew the feeling. And suddenly, he wasn't sure why either of them should be able to breathe.
So he kissed her, taking her completely unaware (and taking advantage of her half-open mouth with his tongue).
Stretching herself up as much as she could on her knees, Lisbon wrapped both arms around his neck and pressed herself against him. Closer, closer, closer. Always closer.
Jane pushed back, bending his knees, trying to brace himself against the bed. He pressed into her, searching for more of her, until suddenly he simply overbalanced, toppling them both back onto the bed.
He wasn't sure how he managed not to crush her, but between them they managed it. He didn't care how. He could feel so much more of her body against his. So much sensation... so much...
What was he doing? What on earth was he doing? This was Lisbon. And they were both vulnerable. Whether she was attracted to him or not, if she wasn't certain. Jane nipped her lip. He needed her to be certain.
With a supreme effort, Jane wrenched his lips away from hers. "Are you sure?" he panted. "Lisbon, are you really sure? Think of the drug... Think of... Oh hell, I don't know..."
Lisbon pulled back, leaning her forehead against his. "The only thing that frightens me about the drug is forgetting," she confided huskily. "I don't want to forget, Jane. Do you think you can make sure I remember?"
Jane was pretty sure his heart actually stopped. Then he smiled slowly. "Oh, I think I can do that Teresa," he promised, dropping down to kiss her neck, his ego fed by her strangled moan. He grinned against her skin, sliding up until his lips were a centimetre from hers. "Like I said, if it's a problem, I can always take notes."
To his delight, he felt her breathy laughter against his face. "Shut up Jane," she muttered, closing the distance between them to kiss him.
Her order sent the remnants of Jane's objections out of his mind.
And, as he felt her hands working to get rid of his vest and shirt, Jane couldn't help wondering if he could convince her that a follow up visit to Angelis n the morning was necessary.
After all, Angelis might be a murderer. And even if he wasn't, clearly this potential drug warranted further scrutiny
Jane was willing to spend all night exploring its effects. But who knew if that would be enough?
He'd have to document his observations mentally, but that was okay. He had no intention of forgetting even a single one.
And if necessary, he was more than willing to remind Lisbon of all of them in the morning.