AN: This is the part where I get to gloat that I was right about Kirkland and Lisbon. Squeeeee (I think)!
Officially, I hope Kirkland doesn't suck. He's definitely involved with RJ, unfortunately, but I want Lisbon to have some sort of relationship with him. She deserves some love. And Jealous Jane is delightful.
I need to get a blog or do the Twitter thing so I have somewhere to rant that's not my author notes...
Oh, and this is dark and somewhat short and not particularly happy.
Darkness and Divinity
He was getting far too used to seeing Lisbon at his side while he was in a hospital bed. He supposed it said something about his lifestyle.
At least he hadn't done the tea thing on purpose. The car crash, on the other hand...
It never failed to make him feel guilty, the tears he saw in her eyes when he was like this. Instinctively, he wanted to hug her, to tell her everything would be alright.
Instead, like always, he used her and pushed her away, trusting that her loyalty would still remain intact.
She hadn't disappointed him yet.
He wondered if that day was coming, and he couldn't blame her if it was.
Dimly, he wondered if she was sleeping with Kirkland yet. Through both black eyes he could see the way she looked at him. Kirkland hid it better, but he was entertaining the same ideas.
Jane had absolutely no right to be jealous, but he found himself bitter and cynical anyway. Someone else was going to have the chance to hold her, to know what she tasted like, to watch over her as she slept.
Irrationally, he found himself wanting to taunt her. I thought you loved me, he would say. Don't I mean anything to you?
But he knew the words would never cross his lips, even if he felt them in his heart. Other than one rushed declaration that he had pretended to not remember saying, he had given her absolutely no reason to wait for him.
And even at this late hour, he still wasn't selfish enough to ask her to do so.
He wasn't sure what was the more unsettling concept - that she would wait for him, or that she wouldn't.
He sure as hell didn't deserve her, but it didn't stop him from wanting her.
The kindest thing he could ever do for her would be to not act on his feelings. His love wasn't some kind of prize, something good or decent. It was a curse.
She had already been marked by it.
She might not realize it, but he had effectively been ruining her life for almost ten years now. He wasn't sure exactly when it happened, but she had fallen for him fairly soon after he had started at CBI. She was smart enough to hide it, but still, he had known.
Other than her unwavering loyalty, her willingness to always save him, she had never given him any indication of her true feelings. But it was written all over her face.
There had been no real boyfriends in the whole time he had known her. There were a few men she had dated for a while, but her heart had never been fully in it. And she'd had several one night stands, not something he would ever begrudge her.
He himself had thought about going that route more than once. A pair of impersonal arms to hold him, a few minutes of reprieve from thinking, losing himself in the blankness of a willing body. A faceless woman instead of the one he really wanted.
Some nights, it sounded like heaven.
It was utter foolishness, however. It was his own fault he was lonely. He didn't get to correct that.
Cho and Rigsby had taken him back to CBI, despite the doctors' advice to stay exactly where he was. If he stayed, Lisbon would feel obligated to sleep in the chair in his room, and he had probably given her enough sleepless nights recently to last for a while.
Lisbon had come to the hospital with Kirkland, and he didn't want to ride the entire way back to Sacramento watching the two of them mentally undress each other. So he had stretched out as best he could in the back of the Suburban, gritting his teeth against the jostling suspension.
Climbing the stairs to the attic was an exercise in aching muscles and throbbing pain, but he did it anyway. Not bothering with the lights, he sank into the hard backed chair in front of the window.
It was distinctly uncomfortable, but it didn't matter. Absently, he realized he was either going to have to stay up all night or wander back downstairs, as there was no way he was going to be able to heave himself onto the makeshift bed.
Predictably, Lisbon found him before too long.
His first words were meant to needle her, and they did. If she was coming to him for reassurance, he had none to offer her. Instead, he called her out on her loyalty and made a crack about Kirkland.
She didn't hit him, which he halfway expected, or deny any sort of relationship with the other man.
So in deference, he had told her with suppressed elation what Lorelei had let slip.
Her first response had been sarcasm, a natural defense. "Great. All you have to do now is go through everyone you've ever shaken hands with. Should be a piece of cake, right?"
He smiled, and it was more than a little painful. "Everyone I've shaken hands with more than once, Lisbon. That narrows it down considerably."
She sighed, leaning back against the edge of his desk. "Jane, let me take you back to your hotel room. Everything else aside, you were in a serious car crash today. You need to rest, not sit in this damn attic and brood."
"I'm resting," he told her.
Her phone vibrated noisily in her pocket. She pulled the device out, pushed a button, and scanned her screen.
He watched her expression as she tapped out a reply.
"Kirkland?" he guessed. "How sweet."
She looked annoyed. "He was asking how you were."
"Again, how sweet."
Abruptly, she stood, pushing back from the desk. "Fine, Jane. Have it your way. I'll leave you to your misery."
Even in the darkness, he could see the bruised look in her eyes that told him he had scored a hit. He wondered if perhaps he just liked to see how far he could push her, how much he could wound her, and have her still remain in his proverbial corner.
A psychologist would have a field day with him.
"Goodnight, Teresa," he called after her, scoring one more point by using her first name. He was really being a bastard tonight, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
She didn't close the door behind her, and in the paned window, he could see the reflection of the light of her cell phone as she put the device up to her ear.
He congratulated himself on managing to drive her into Kirkland's arms already. For he had no doubt that he was who she was calling.
Tomorrow, he would linger in her office just to punish himself. He would see the abrasions from a man's beard on her neck, smell a trace of his cologne if she got near enough. He certainly deserved whatever pain it caused him.
For a moment, he pictured what she would look like wrapped around another man, her fingers in his hair, lips crying out his name.
He sneered. Patrick would be a much better name to call out than Bob.
His heart felt dark and angry and desperate. He wanted her to come back, but he knew if she did, he would only push her away again.
He was too close to waver now. He was breaking his ties, calling in his favors. This was his last stand.
It would be easier to make if he knew she wouldn't grieve for him when he was gone. For years, hers had been about the only feelings he had cared about. Her happiness had become his own.
He thought that maybe it still was, which was why he felt so awful these days. But he wouldn't give in.
There was no other option.
With more difficulty than he expected, he stood, the painkillers in his pocket rattling. It had never taken longer to reach the Serious Crimes floor.
Lisbon's office was dark. He picked the lock in under a second and entered, closing the door behind him, leaving the lights off.
Carefully, he settled himself on the couch he had bought her, pulling the blanket over himself as best he could.
He hoped Kirkland showed up here in the morning when he was still asleep in her office. It would be the equivalent of a middle finger. Lisbon was his first, would always be his first.
When his beloved Saint Teresa gave her heart to someone, she meant it.
And sadly for Bob, he had shown up about nine years too late.
He pressed his hands over his eyes, ignoring the bruising on his face, and tried to shut his mind off.
It would be a long time before he accomplished his goal.