A/N: Decided to try to catch up with the episodes so here is the latest tag. I find it annoying that the episodes end before emotional conclusions as surely Jane and Lisbon wouldn't just leave each other alone after stressful cases. Here's my take what might have happened afterwards. And I know, I know; wishful thinking :)
Jane had kept a discreet eye on Lisbon since Amanda had died. Cho had told him the story of how she was found and what Volker had said to Lisbon afterwards; that it was her fault that she had killed herself. They all knew that to be nonsense, but knowing Lisbon Jane knew that she would blame herself for her death. And probably him as well, Jane admitted and felt ashamed.
He had been so intent on his own schemes that he hadn't paid any attention to the case and even after promising Lisbon that he would help, he had been too late. What made it worse was that Lisbon had clearly been frustrated with him and hadn't believed a word he had said. She had been keeping her distance lately, now that he thought about it. Usually she would have prodded and nagged at him much more to get him out on the case, but this time it had felt like she had made a minimal effort to make it look like she behaved in her usual way. And shame on him that he hadn't realized it earlier and had let her get away with it. There was something wrong already before this case came along and he hadn't noticed.
He had thought of several different plans and strategies to get Lisbon to talk and had discarded all of them almost immediately. She had barricaded herself into her office and had even thrown Cho out when he had tried to talk with her. Since then everyone had given her space, even Jane. He was aware of the glances the team kept giving him as they were clearly waiting for him to do something outrageous as usual but he had surprised them by sitting on his couch, drinking tea and pondering in silence.
And here he was now. Alone in a dark office, still waiting for Lisbon to go home, waiting for something to happen to spur him into action and guiding him in what to do. It was looking increasingly unlikely that she would leave as the light was still on in her office and there was no sign of anybody moving around.
Slowly Jane put his tea cup on the floor and rose up to tiptoe to her door. The blinds were drawn but he had long ago found a location where the blinds were slightly kinked so he could see in and this was where he headed now.
The lamp on the desk was glowing with a dull light, exposing the heaps of paper on Lisbon's desk. The chair was pushed back and empty.
Jane's heart jumped wildly. Surely she hadn't managed to sneak out without him noticing. He shuffled slightly into a different angle and finally located Lisbon in the shadows.
Her small frame was leaning against a window, her temple resting against the cold glass, her eyes closed as she hugged herself tightly. Jane could see the small tremors running through her but could not see her face properly in the darkness.
This was not right. Without thinking twice he entered the office without knocking causing Lisbon to call tiredly out, "Go away Jane."
Jane didn't respond as he softly walked towards her, her eyes still closed but her head now turned even more towards the window to hide her face.
Jane came to stand behind her and looked out of the window. It was beautiful. In the darkness of the night a fog had risen and wrapped everything in a ghostly soft layer leaving only the streetlights to glow dully through the haze.
Jane reached for the desk lamp and switched it off leaving the office in darkness. It said something that Lisbon's only reaction was to sigh deeply, otherwise she continued to lean against the window her arms around her.
Jane's heart broke at the sight. This was a woman who always reached out for him, who always tried to fix things and who always was there for him. He had let her down. Again.
This thought was enough to spur him on, to do something that he had done only once before with Lisbon. He reached out to her.
He stepped closer until he could feel her body heat and saw her stiffen as she was unsure what his intentions were. He put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed his cheek against her hair, inhaling her scent that still lingered on after a long day.
"I'm sorry," he said before slowly and gently tugging her to fall backwards so that he could hold her against his chest while enveloping her in a hug from behind.
Lisbon seemed to deflate after hearing this and numbly followed his guidance ending up with her back against his chest and his arms around her. She still kept her eyes closed as Jane kept observing her reflection in the window. He didn't want to push so he let her do what she needed to do and kept his own eyes on the fog outside. They stood in silence.
After a while he felt the tremors intensifying and he softly tightened his grip on her. He didn't say anything as there was nothing to say to make it better. But he was ready for her when she turned around and buried her head in his chest, her shoulders shaking with her sobs, her tears soaking through his shirt.
He held her, gently stroking her back, letting her cry. He held her firmly with one arm and moved to stroke her silky hair with the other. He wanted to give her everything he could, to be there for her, at least today. He felt contented and privileged that she allowed him to comfort her when their roles had always been reversed. He felt a stab of pain in knowing that he could not allow this to happen on a regular basis, he would otherwise want it too much to be able to stop himself as he would need to as he needed all his focus and concentration to catch Red John. Although he was aware that his determination was already wavering due to Lisbon's influence; he actually listened to her despite what she might think and he wanted her to be happy, which seemed to mean that he needed to stay alive. He forced all these thoughts down though. Tonight wasn't about him. It was all about what he could give to Lisbon, although it wouldn't be much as there wasn't that much left of him.
Lisbon finally had gone silent and still against his chest, but he continued with the slow stroking of her hair. When she tried to move away keeping her eyes downcast, he didn't allow it.
Without saying anything he gently lifted her face towards his and slowly stroked her face, wiping away the tears. To his relief Lisbon let him and even rested her head against his palm for a few seconds before trying to pull away again.
"Please. Let me," Jane pleaded softly and all the fight went out of Lisbon. She kept her hands resting against his chest as they stood close to each other, but she still kept her eyes closed. Jane gave a small, sad smile, knowing how it felt to lose control, to let someone see in how much pain you were as you had to let a portion of that pain out as otherwise it would burn you to cinders, but at the same time trying to hold onto a small sense of control. So he let her keep her eyes closed.
He finally cupped her face and kissed her carefully on the forehead, lingering for several long seconds causing Lisbon's heartbeat to speed up.
"Let me take you home," he whispered and finally Lisbon opened her beautiful green eyes that were red rimmed and puffy. Jane looked at her silently and expectantly and Lisbon gave a small nod and opened her mouth to say something.
Jane pre-empted the effort by placing a finger on her lips and shaking his head.
"There is no need for words. Let me take you home," he whispered again and Lisbon nodded tiredly.
He guided her out towards the elevators, his hand never leaving the small of her back.
They stepped into the lift and when the doors closed, Jane pulled Lisbon towards him and once again kissed her silently on the forehead and when they got to the car park he was still holding her.
He guided her to his car and drove her home.
He helped her out of the car once they arrived and once again kept his hand on the small of her back as they reached her door. She silently opened it and Jane closed it carefully after him and when he turned around in the darkness, he found her standing still and lost in the middle of the room.
He took her by hand and helped her to her bedroom where he gently pushed her to sit on the bed. Now Lisbon kept her eyes open, but her thoughts were clearly somewhere else. He removed her shoes and helped her under the covers. He leaned down to kiss her again and couldn't help himself but once again lingered against her forehead. When he rose to leave, Lisbon's tiny hand caught his.
"Stay," her raspy voice whispered and Jane heard the effort behind the word. Silently he shed his jacket and waistcoat, took off his shoes and laid down on top of the covers next to Lisbon, who snuggled closer. And then he couldn't help himself, couldn't resist anymore but slipped under the covers and took her into his arms and held her close.
In the dark of the night she held onto him, allowing him to see the vulnerability that she always kept hidden and he stayed silent, holding her tightly until she fell asleep.
He finally gave in to a burning desire and gently, with a feather soft touch kissed her both cheeks and finally the corner of her mouth. If he ever kissed her fully, he wanted both of them to be conscious and less emotionally exhausted and this thought startled him as he hadn't even considered it before.
He rested his head on the pillow, while holding the small woman close to him and watched the whirl of fog in the night.
Tonight they had each other. Tomorrow would be a different story.