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.
SYNOPSIS: Cho has some advice for the other men on the team.
A/N: My submission for the PIRvent Calendar on the Paint It Red forum. RIGSBY/VAN PELT, JANE/LISBON and some CHO! Complete festive fluff - if you're looking for something deep and meaningful, then walk away now...nothing to see here ;) Enjoy :)
The annual CBI Christmas party was in full swing. Fairy lights twinkled merrily around the room; festive music played loudly, blaring out the songs that were only heard at this time of year as some people worse for wear on eggnog or wine drunkenly tried to dance.
There was a happy atmosphere this year. One section in particular had more cause to celebrate than any other. The Serious Crimes Unit had finally caught the notorious serial killer Red John after years of chasing lead after fruitless lead and he was safely tucked up in a maximum security prison where he'd spend the rest of his days.
Kimball Cho wondered if that wasn't preferable as, 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', started to play for the fourth time that evening.
He glanced over at his friend and colleague, Wayne Rigsby, and saw that the tall man standing next to him was staring longingly across the room at one of the other members of their team, Grace Van Pelt. Cho rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"Just tell her," he advised in a wry tone.
Rigsby paused with his glass of eggnog halfway to his lips and looked back at the stoic agent in puzzlement.
"Van Pelt," Cho explained. "Put us all out of our misery and just tell her how you feel."
Rigsby's eyes widened in shock and then he let out a rather forced laugh.
"We're just friends," he stated unconvincingly.
"Uh-huh," Cho responded non-committedly.
Both men stared at the throng of people laughing and joking around them then sipped at their drinks in silence for a moment.
"Anyway, she's not interested," Rigsby couldn't resist adding.
"Course she's not," Cho agreed sardonically.
"And then there's the rules," the tall agent continued.
"You never break them," Cho inserted dryly.
Rigsby huffed out a sigh of irritation at his friend's responses.
"Look, just leave it, man, OK?" he warned. "As much as I want it to, it's never gonna happen."
"So you're just going to carry on giving her puppy dog eyes until some other guy comes along then, huh?" Cho queried casually. "Or worse, until she gets hurt, maybe even killed and you live the rest of your life regretting not giving it a shot?"
"Cho!" Rigsby exclaimed aghast but inside the words had struck a nerve. He looked over to where the red-haired agent was laughing with an agent from Fraud and felt his jealousy stirring as normal.
"I'm just saying; life's too short…and I'm fed up with watching you two dance around each other. Just tell her," Cho said firmly. He turned to go and saw their consultant, Patrick Jane standing just behind them obviously having heard every word. "That goes for you too," he advised curtly.
Jane quirked an eyebrow but remained silent as he watched the other agent saunter off. He took a step forward to stand next to Rigsby and they both looked at each other for a moment before staring back at the mass of people before them.
The music changed to something slow and couples started making their way onto the makeshift dance floor.
"Cho's had too much to drink," Risgby groused, taking a very large swig of his own festive brew.
"On the contrary, I think he has a point," Jane replied as he scanned the room and saw Lisbon at the bar ordering another drink. She turned her head just at that moment and caught his gaze then gave him a warm smile that made his heart literally melt. He was never one to take advice from someone else but on this occasion he thought perhaps he might make an exception.
"What? Come on, man, you know what happened last time I was with Grace. It's just not possible," the younger man declared unhappily.
"Oh, everything's possible, Rigsby," Jane contradicted as he straightened his jacket and shot the other man a grin. "Just depends on how much you want it."
That said, he excused himself and Rigsby watched him walk determinedly over to their boss then lean in close and whisper something in her ear. Whatever is was made her laugh then she nodded and took the consultant's proffered hand as he led her over to join the other couples that were swaying to the romantic music. He saw Jane take Lisbon in his arms and couldn't help the pang of envy that hit his heart.
"Hey, Wayne, enjoying the party?"
He turned in surprise to see the red haired woman he loved standing by his side looking at him with a soft smile.
"Yeah, Grace. You?" he replied, smiling back at her.
"I would be if I had someone to dance with," she hinted then held out her hand and asked a little shyly. "Do you want to?"
Risgby stared back at her for a moment then put down his drink and reached out to take hold of her hand knowing that what he said next meant more to him than just about the dance. "Yes, Grace, I do want to."
He took her onto the dance floor and as he drew her close and stared into her expressive hazel eyes, he thought that maybe, this time, it would be possible after all.