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 some in the future after series four finale. Minor spoilers.
SYNOPSIS: "Yesterday I made a New Year's resolution. I'm going to give myself one whole year to woo and win the love of California Bureau of Investigation's Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon."
A/N: I know,I know, what am I thinking starting yet another multi chapter fic when I'm still working on Red Diablo?! Well, my intention is for this is to be updated once a week until Christmas and each chapter will be a different month. It's Jane's POV but my lovely beta, JC, (thanks for all your wonderful help, luvvie) has suggested that I do a Lisbon POV companion piece for each one too - I'll see what kind of response I get from this before I make any decisions though :)
Title and mini prompt comes from the song, "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.
Hope you enjoy...
WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL
Don't know what for…"
~ What Makes You Beautiful ~ 1D
January 2nd – 4.51pm
Yesterday I made a New Year's resolution. I'm going to give myself one whole year to woo and win the love of California Bureau of Investigation's Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon.
She's head of the Serious Crimes Unit. Did I happen to mention that she's also my boss? Not that it matters. As a consultant, I'm not strictly a CBI employee so fraternisation isn't frowned upon between us. I checked. Then I double-checked…just to make sure.
My name's Patrick Jane. I was once a damn good, dare I say, the best fake psychic and all round con artist there was. Until the day I crossed a very bad, very sick man called Red John who took away everything I held dear one devastating night a little over eleven years ago.
My family. My beautiful wife and child. Angela and Charlotte. It took me years but I finally avenged their deaths. I hunted down and found the bastard who butchered them…but I didn't kill him. Lisbon did that. She saved me yet again. From my own destructive folly. I'll be forever grateful to her for that…
But that's not why I love her. No, that's been creeping up on me so slowly I hardly even knew that it had happened until I was head over heels and all bent out of shape. She's my friend. My best friend and she kept me sane. Well, as sane a man who carried the crushing guilt of being the cause of his family's murder could be I suppose. She's stood at my side through thick and thin. Never faltering. Never leaving. No matter how much I pushed her away or tried to distance myself. No matter how much trouble I caused in the pursuit of my obsession. No matter how many times it was detrimental to both her personally and also the team. She was always there. Always understood. Always cared. My rock.
I ask you, how could I not fall in love with her? I'd be complete imbecile if I hadn't…and believe me; I am many things, but an imbecile is not one of them.
Does she love me, though? Now, that's a harder question to answer. She definitely has some feelings for me, I'm certain of that but I'm also just a certain that it will be a cold day in Hell before she'd even admit it to herself, let alone me.
I can't blame her, really. That whole Lorelei debacle last year ruined any kind of trust she'd worked so hard to have for me, stone dead. I mean, I told her I loved her and then she found out I'd had sex with Red John's right hand woman. From the woman herself. Hardly supports my declaration, does it? But I did then and still do love her, I just don't have great timing. I am a little rusty concerning affairs of the heart after all.
Of course, the fact that I started, and continued, the charade of having feelings for Lorelei just to get information on Red John didn't exactly help substantiate my avowal to Lisbon either. I detested having to do it but like I said, it was the in pursuit of my obsession and, wonderful woman that she is, she still stood by me, even though I could tell it pained her.
I have to admit that, apart from the obvious, seeing the incredible hurt on her face each time I came back from interviewing Lorelei and knowing that I was the one responsible for putting it there …well, I can honestly say that it is one of the biggest regrets of my life.
I truly hate myself for that.
And for what it did to our friendship.
My selfish actions nearly broke us, more than once. But somehow, we held on. Whether is was down to my own tenacity in not letting her to go or down to the fact that she has the most forgiving and generous nature a person could possess, I'll never really know. But somehow, now it's all over, we've managed to move on.
Finally, after four excruciating months of waiting and praying to a God I don't really believe in, since Red John's death and Lorelei's conviction, Lisbon is starting to let me back in again. Just little things, but I recognise the signs and they give me hope. I am determined not to ruin it this time. She's too important to me.
To quote from sonnet 43, 'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.'
To be honest, I'd need to count off far more than the twenty fingers and toes I possess to fully do justice to the amount of adjectives that I could espouse about her beauty and brains, not to mention her brawn. Who knew such a tiny little thing could hold so much power? And I'm not talking just about physically either…although Teresa Lisbon in full flight, tackling a man twice her size to the ground is truly a thing of beauty. Trust me.
Where was I? Ah yes, let me count the ways…well, she's beautiful, obviously, kind, strong, stubborn, feisty, caring, intelligent, sweet, clever, passionate, witty…
"Jane! I know you're not sleeping. Get the hell up and into my office! Now!"
I wince slightly as my poor old couch gets yet another swift boot to its side then crack open an eye to see her standing over me, hands on hips, her ire radiating off her in waves so hard they slap me square in the face. How I especially love to see her like this, all long flowing hair and stormy emerald eyes. And as for those perfectly kissable lips…
"Oh, were you calling me?" I ask innocently, as I deliberately go overboard on pretending to wake up. I watch in unabashed delight as her eyes grow even more tempestuous.
"You're an ass," she tells me before stalking off.
I can't help but agree with her evaluation of me and get up to follow, making sure I stop off at the break room first to make myself some tea and Lisbon a coffee. It'll give her some time to calm down a little before I go in and fan the flames again.
"It's about time," she grouses as I eventually step into her office.
I give her have my patent "You love me really' grin and she shakes her head in annoyance. I sit down on the chair in front of her desk then take a leisurely sip of my tea as I wait for her to bawl me out.
"Just what the heck were you thinking this afternoon?" she begins, her voice surprisingly controlled all things considered.
"What do you mean?" I ask casually before taking another sip of my drink. I find that being obtuse is particularly aggravating to her.
"You know exactly what I mean," she responds, the volume rising slightly just as I knew it would.
I shake my head, all innocence then suddenly produce the perfect 'eureka' expression before I say, "Oh, you're talking about the fact that I helped bring yet another killer to justice."
"No, I'm talking about the fact that you pushed Senator Carlton into that mud hole!" she exclaims.
"Meh…collateral damage," I excuse dismissively. "And he had it coming. He wouldn't leave you alone."
"He was upset and I can handle men like him myself," she argues back. "I don't need or want you to stand up for me, Jane. How many times have I told you that?"
Too many. And as much as I know this, I don't feel sorry for knocking that asshole into the mud. Besides, I didn't really push him per se, it was more of a…perfectly executed nudge. And it'd been funny to see him slip over again and again as he'd tried to stand up, covered in dirt, spluttering in rage. Even Cho had been amused, if that slight upturn on the right side of his mouth had been anything to go by. And rightly so. I know he was as ticked off as I was at the way Carlton had been pawing at Lisbon all afternoon using his crocodile tears as a pretext of needing comfort over the fact that his cheating wife had been murdered by her lover. I saw the truth in him. There was no love there. He hated his wife and was secretly pleased to see the back of her, she was just a trophy to him anyway. Plus the added exposure gave him the press time he so desperately needed for his new campaign. Nasty human being.
I smile slightly at the thought of him flailing around covered in dirty muck and Lisbon stands up suddenly, rigid with fury. "You think this is funny?" she asks me, placing her hands on her desk and leaning towards me. "Because I don't! As usual your actions have landed me in trouble. If you don't apologise to the Senator, I'm on suspension for two weeks. Effective immediately."
I stare back at her in wonder. Her eyes are sparking green fire and she's breathing heavily from trying to control her ire. I can't stop my gaze from dropping to her delectable lips then trailing further down along her smooth neck and coming to a stop where her modestly covered chest is rising and falling at an increased rate.
She's glorious and alive and I have to physically restrain myself from reaching out and just kissing her senseless. I drag my eyes away from her body and focus on my teacup instead. I take another, longer draught of the brew and pull my errant thoughts back under control.
I should have known Lisbon would get caught up in the backlash of my actions. She always does and I usually let her because I'm too damn arrogant to back down. But now I've made my resolution that's about to change. How can she even begin to believe I care for her if I don't swallow some pride and do the decent thing for once?
I place my cup and saucer on her desk and nod. "OK, I'll apologise."
If I had slapped her, I doubt she could have been more shocked. She slumps back down onto her chair as if her legs can no longer support her diminutive weight and looks at me as if I've gone mad. "Excuse me?" she says obviously not fully able to comprehend my acquiescence.
"I'll apologise," I repeat, slower this time, just to try and rile her up a little again.
Her eyes narrow suddenly and she looks at me suspiciously. "Are you playing me?" she asks, her tone incredulous. "Because I don't like being made a fool of, Jane."
"How on earth am I playing you if I say I'll apologise?" I counter, genuinely confused. I thought I was showing her that I cared. Infuriating woman.
"By telling me you'll do it and then not following through, leaving me feeling like an even bigger idiot for allowing myself to start to have a little faith in you again," she tells me unhappily. She lets out a sigh and sits back into her chair with a shake of her head. "Why are you even here anyway?"
My confusion grows. "You asked me in here," I reply, dryly.
"Not in my office here, but the CBI?" she rectifies, her voice taking on a softer, almost uncertain edge. "Why haven't you left yet? I thought that with Red John gone, you'd be off making a new life for yourself. It's been four months, Jane."
"I know how long it's been, Lisbon. I can count," I retort, cut to the quick that she had actually thought that about me.
It really hits me then, the full extent of how far our relationship has truly disintegrated. When had I become so blind? I honestly believed that she was starting to get past all her insecurities about me but it seems she was merely ignoring them because she thought I was leaving anyway.
It hurt. More than I care to admit. Especially as I know how so very deep my feelings for her are.
I stand and pick up my cup and saucer. "Set up the meeting with Carlton. I'll apologise. I'll even do a dance if that's what he wants," I mutter sardonically. Hurt fuels my next words, as I add a trifle brusquely, "Just don't tell me that you're expecting me to leave you ever again, Teresa. Trust me, I'm not going anywhere…whether you like it or not. I'm hoping you do, but if you don't…I'm a patient man. I can change your mind."
It's with some satisfaction that I watch her mouth open in shock and then I turn and leave, shutting the door quietly behind me.
I go into the break room to make another cup of tea, the familiar actions a balm on my injured soul. As I wait for the kettle to boil, I try to stop myself from looking over at her door, but fail miserably. I see her staring back at me then, to my surprise, she gets up and leaves her office and heads in my direction carrying her coffee. I resolutely turn my attention back to the kettle, which thankfully starts to whistle as I see her dump the cold contents of her mug into the nearby sink out the corner of my eye.
We each work on making our own hot drinks while surreptitiously watching the other. I see her pick up her mug and move away then, unexpectedly, I hear her call my name. I look up and she gives me an awkward half smile as her cheeks colour slightly.
"I do like it," she reassures me softly before quickly turning and going back into her office.
I finish making my tea with what I know has to be the most asinine grin on my face, but I just can't help it. I may not have done much actual wooing of my fair maiden today but I believe I've most certainly laid down the foundations.
END CHAPTER 1
A/N: Let me know what you think please? Thanks!