So, this is for Afterglow04. Holiday Fic Request #10. The request was, more of the Restraints-verse. So this is another on-shot in that universe (which consists of Restraints and Reminiscing in the Rhododendrons). The 'verse is an established J/L ship that takes place after RJ. To sum up. This fic takes place sometime after Reminiscing in the Rhododendrons, but not super long after Restraints itself.
Also? Fluffety fluff fluff fluff. Because that is how this universe works.
"Does this feel weird to anyone else?" Rigsby asked as the SUV pulled up in front of a bungalow on the east side of the city.
"Yep," Cho agreed immediately, and at exactly the same time that Van Pelt said, "No."
Both men turned and stared at her.
"What?" she asked. "Jane asked us over to come see his house. It's a housewarming party. What's weird about that?"
"How about he's never done it before?" Rigsby asked.
Van Pelt rolled her eyes as she opened the car door. "He didn't have a house before, Wayne," she reminded Rigsby. "He was well..."
"He was living out of a motel room indefinitely," Cho filled in bluntly.
"But now, with Red John gone..." Van Pelt trailed off, trying to remain upbeat.
"Red John's been dead a while," Rigsby reminded her.
"So it took him some time to adjust," Van Pelt defended. "And besides, he had to buy the house and furnish it and stuff. It took me a while to get everything right at my place, and I live in an apartment."
"I guess," Rigsby conceded slowly as he got out of the car. "This is still weird."
"Definitely weird," Cho agreed shutting the passenger side door of Rigsby's SUV. "Which is the real reason we all decided to carpool."
Rigsby nodded. "No awkward small-talk alone with Jane if you arrive ten minutes before everyone else does."
Van Pelt scowled as she turned up the front path towards the door. "It's just snacks and drinks," she pointed out. "We'll be here a couple hours, tops. We'll look at Jane's house, say nice things, eat some food, and leave."
"And we're gonna like it!" Rigsby muttered under his breath.
Cho smirked and knocked on the front door. "Place looks nice," he observed
"Well, I for one am happy for Jane," Van Pelt groused, glaring at Rigsby.
Rigsby looked affronted. "Hey! I didn't say that I wasn't happy for the guy! I think it's great that he's decided to do something remotely healthy for a change. I still say today could be a little bit awk... Hi!" he said abruptly as the front door swung open.
Jane grinned at the three agents on his front of him; he had a pretty good idea what was being discussed on his doorstep. "Hello all. You're right on time," he told them.
"Thanks for having us, Jane," Van Pelt said as she walked in. "I brought cookies."
Jane took the shiny blue tin graciously. "You didn't need to do that, Grace," he told her.
"I wanted to," she said with a smile. "Think of them as a housewarming gift."
To Van Pelt's surprise, Jane looked quite pleased at the suggestion. Grace bit down on a sudden smile. It looked like Patrick Jane was almost excited. At the very least he was proud of his house. Before she could say anything, Jane had turned his attention to the guys.
"Are you done pretending to admire the front garden while you loiter in the doorway?" he asked them.
"Uh," Rigsby tried to justify.
Jane smirked. "Come on in, I won't bite." He assured them. "And neither will my house."
"That's what I've been trying to tell them," Van Pelt told him.
"Thank you Grace," Jane replied semi-seriously.
"I really was admiring the garden," Cho insisted. "Looks nice."
"Thanks," Jane said. "The one out back's nicer though. I've put more time into it."
"Hm," Cho decided not to bother asking why Jane had put more effort into the back garden that almost no one would see. Who knew why Jane did anything?
"We brought wine," Rigsby added, thrusting the bottle at Jane awkwardly.
Jane took it with the hand that wasn't holding Grace's cookies. He appreciated the cookies, but part of him wished she'd brought a vegetable plate or something. He already had enough sweets and he'd meant to pick up something a bit healthier at the grocery store the day before but forgotten. Still, he appreciated his colleague's thoughtfulness. "Thanks," he said again. "Now come on in. I'll give you the tour."
"Shouldn't we wait for Lisbon?" Rigsby asked. "Or is she here already?"
"She's not here, but she's seen it all before," Jane told the three assembled agents. "She won't mind." He ignored the look Rigsby shot Cho, the one Van Pelt was trying to ignore.
"Told ya," Rigsby muttered to his partner.
Cho just shook his head. He hadn't needed Rigsby to tell him anything. Practically everyone already knew anyway, even if they didn't actually say anything. Besides, even if he hadn't known, a couple of the jackets hanging in Jane's closet would have already given it away.
"Come on," Jane called, shaking Cho out of his thoughts. "We'll start with the kitchen so I can put this stuff down," he said, gesturing to his housewarming gifts.
The three agents followed willingly as Jane started the tour of his bungalow.
Barely fifteen minutes later they were all back in the living room which Jane had decided to save for the last stop on his tour; it was the obvious place to end up. Cho was examining Jane's bookshelves, somewhat surprised by the man's taste, which was more traditional than he'd been expecting. Jane had a lot of the classics along with a healthy selection of mystery novels. Cho smirked. It seemed Patrick Jane was always in search of a good puzzle.
He and Rigsby had already told Jane his new house was nice; they'd come to an unspoken agreement to let Van Pelt fill in the details. Right now Grace was sitting on the couch chattering to Jane in the kitchen about how much she loved the colour scheme in his bathroom and how the paint in the hall brought out some of his paintings. Cho would have rolled his eyes at her praise, except that Jane was obviously enjoying the attention. The consultant was busy pouring drinks, but his eyes brightened every time Van Pelt referenced another detail of his little house.
Cho also couldn't help noticing that, unlike when he looked at Van Pelt, Jane's eyes narrowed every time he glanced at Rigsby, who was sitting in the large armchair in the corner of the room. Cho wasn't sure what exactly was annoying the consultant, other than maybe the fact that Rigsby was slowly picking the raisins out of the cookie he'd snagged on his way through the kitchen. Jane's irritation couldn't have been a result of anything Rigsby had said about the bungalow, because while Rigsby hadn't been as effusive as Van Pelt, he'd still been positive. Besides, Cho himself hadn't said much in the way of compliments, and he wasn't being glared at.
Jane paused in his glaring to start pouring drinks. Cho took his with a quiet "Thank you," amused to see Jane glare at Rigsby out of the corner of his eye. As Van Pelt paused in her discussion of the colour of Jane's hallway to take a sip of her drink, Cho took advantage of the silence to ask something he'd been wondering about. "I wonder where Lisbon is."
"She said she might be a bit late," Jane informed him, picking up two more glasses. "Something to do with a call from Bertram. She should be here any time though." He took a sip from one glass of wine and put Rigsby's on the coffee table in the middle of the room, far out of the other Agent's reach from his seat in the corner.
Cho nodded, wondering what on earth the consultant was up to.
Jane was leaning against his bookshelf like there was nothing odd at all about his serving technique.
Even Van Pelt paused briefly in her verbal catalogue of the virtues of Jane's house, before deciding to just ignore it.
Rigsby frowned briefly before shrugging his shoulders and standing to get his drink from across the room. He turned to go back to the armchair he'd been sitting in (it was really quite comfortable), only to find Jane suddenly blocking his path. Rigsby tried to walk around the consultant, but Jane just shifted his position so that he was always between the chair and his colleague.
"I do like the size of this room," Jane said, innocently looking around him.
Rigsby watched him suspiciously for a moment before obviously deciding it probably wasn't worth the effort of figuring out what was going on. "Uh, yeah," he said awkwardly. "It's nice." Then he turned in the other direction and sat down on the couch next to Van Pelt, since that appeared to be safe.
She just shrugged at him, having no idea what was going on either.
Jane's smile of triumph was so small that Cho almost didn't catch it. Unlike his colleagues, he was about to ask the consultant what the big deal was when he heard the front door open.
"Sorry I'm late," Lisbon called as she stepped inside. "Bertram wanted to talk to me about next year's budget."
"That must have been thrilling," Jane told her, his face brightening when she walked around the corner.
"It was the highlight of my week," Lisbon assured him, joining the team in the living room.
"Don't worry, we haven't been here long," Grace assured her. "Jane just finished giving us the tour."
"We would have waited but we heard you've already gotten one," Rigsby said slyly.
If Rigsby had expected Lisbon to react, she disappointed him. "Yeah, I have," she said. "Oh, I almost forgot," she turned back to the entranceway. "I stopped to pick up a fruit plate on my way over, Jane. Figured you could probably use something a little healthy."
Cho couldn't help noticing that Jane seemed disproportionately pleased by Lisbon's gift. The agent shook his head slightly. He sincerely hoped the two of them didn't think they were fooling anyone.
"Great!" Jane said cheerfully as he took the fruit plate from her. "We can have these with Grace's cookies."
Lisbon smirked. "Okay.
"You can never have too many snacks, Lisbon," Jane assured her gravely, turning towards the kitchen to put the fruit on the counter.
She just shook her head indulgently before turning towards the armchair Rigsby had vacated only moments before and curling up in it.
Cho was internally amused by the fact that the smallest person in the room had now commandeered the biggest chair. He watched Rigsby's eyes flick towards Jane, who had poured Lisbon a drink and was now taking it to her.
If Rigsby was expecting Jane to object to Lisbon's chosen seat, Cho suspected his partner was about to be sorely disappointed. Lisbon looked right at home in the massive chair. She'd tucked her feet under herself and she was snuggling into the cushions like she'd done it a million times before (which Cho suddenly realized she probably had). Something that was only confirmed when Jane handed her a glass of wine without another word, waving away her murmured thanks.
Cho hid his smile at Rigsby's blinking face, noting the exact second the other man caught on. It seemed that Jane didn't object to everyone sitting in that paricular chair. Before Rigsby could say anything, Van Pelt had turned the conversation back to Jane's new house, a subject that seemed to be a constant pleasure for the consultant.
Cho leaned back in his own (normal-sized) chair, letting the others talk around him. They all looked comfortable. Rigsby and Van Pelt were debating which room needed to be furnished first when you first bought a house (while being careful to assure Jane that all of his were lovely); Lisbon was listening to them and making the odd comment herself as she sipped her wine, obviously letting herself relax; and Jane was hovering around them all playing host, setting out plates of snacks (including Lisbon's fruit and Van Pelt's cookies) and making sure everyone's drinks were full. (Cho was unsurprised to notice that Jane hadn't refilled his glass of wine; he'd told Rigsby he'd drive the three of them back.)
Jane's version of playing host seemed to involve anticipating everyone's needs before they realized them, whether it was for a cookie or a refill, with particular attention paid to the agent in charge, of course. Cho was beginning to wonder what would happen if Lisbon happened to ask Jane for something he didn't have on hand. The consultant'd probably try and con Rigsby into driving to the store to get it. As it was, the plate of cookies materialized near her hand a second after she asked Van Pelt to pass them to her and her glass was never anywhere near empty.
Cho had to hide a smile. For all that there was always gossip about who was actually in charge of the team at work, and veiled concerns about Jane having far too much control, that didn't seem to be a concern outside of the office. If Cho was honest, it'd been something he'd been vaguely worried about when he'd first realized what was going on between them (it was nice to know there was no cause for concern; he'd have really hated to have to kick Jane's ass). It seemed that here Lisbon wielded considerable influence. He wondered if she was aware of the extent of it.
Actually, he wondered if Jane was.
Deciding to think about it later, Cho turned his attention back to the conversation at hand.
"It sounds like it took a lot of work to get this place fixed up," Van Pelt was saying, listening to the end of yet another one of Jane's stories of home renovation.
"A fair bit," Jane admitted. "I think it was worth it though."
"It definitely was," Van Pelt agreed. "It really is lovely, Jane."
Jane bristled with pride.
"Did he tell you the one about fixing his bookshelves?" Lisbon asked with a smirk.
Jane turned to glare at her.
"No," Van Pelt said with a smile. "He must have missed that story. What happened?"
"Apparently it took him half an hour to adjust the height of one of the shelves," Lisbon said innocently.
"Why?" Rigsby asked with a laugh.
"My sources say he dropped a shelf on his head," Lisbon added.
"Oh, I did not!" Jane exclaimed.
"Then how else did a simple job like that take half an hour?" Lisbon asked.
"It's complicated," Jane said airily. "I wouldn't expect you to understand."
"And Barb wasn't even there, so I don't know why she's decided to spread rumours..." Jane grumbled, only to aware of who her supposed 'source' was.
Lisbon just smiled. "I have no idea."
"Barb?" Rigsby asked.
"Jane's retired next door neighbour," Lisbon explained. "Lovely woman. You'll have to meet her someday."
Rigsby and Van Pelt exchanged a look, obviously noting that Lisbon had met Jane's neighbours.
"She'd certainly like that," Jane agreed. "Although, don't believe everything you hear. She's apparently given to tall tales. Which for some reason, Lisbon always believes."
Lisbon allowed herself an indulgent smile and decided (just this once) to let that slide. It was Jane's official housewarming after all. He probably deserved it. "Did Jane show you the back garden earlier?" she asked, changing the subject.
Cho perked up slightly at that. Jane had mentioned a garden out back (one that was apparently nicer than the front one), but they'd passed it by. Or maybe Jane had just become distracted by Van Pelt's excitement over some random piece of furniture, or something.
"I haven't actually," Jane was saying. "Wasn't sure if people would be interested in a bunch of plants. We could do that now though. If people want."
No one was fooled by Jane's attempt at nonchalance. (Rigsby even rolled his eyes.) It was quite obvious that Jane wanted nothing more than to show off his garden.
"I think we could all do with some fresh air after those snacks," Lisbon said with another smile. "Lead the way."
Jane practically bounced out of his seat, only too happy to oblige her.
The rest of the team followed obediently, mentally preparing to praise.
After all, if they didn't, not only would they potentially break Jane's heart, but they were all beginning to realize that there was a good chance Lisbon might kill them if they didn't.
In fact, by the time they reached the back door Lisbon was already describing the flowers that had bloomed earlier in the season and where they'd been located. Cho realized that if Jane's garden wasn't suitably appreciated, Lisbon's irritation wasn't only going to be on Jane's behalf.
It made him wonder if her obvious fondness for the place had anything to do with the reason Jane had put more effort into the back garden over the front.
He decided it was yet another thing to think about later.
Van Pelt had been right when she'd predicted that Jane's little housewarming wouldn't last long. A little over two hours later, Jane and Lisbon were the only two left in the bungalow.
Lisbon had offered to help him with the dishes. Van Pelt had offered as well, but hadn't taken too much convincing to let Lisbon do it instad. Especially after Lisbon had pointed out that it made the most sense for her to stay, since the others had carpooled anyway. And, there weren't that many dishes. So, as Jane was saying his final goodbyes, she'd collected the last of the stray wineglasses and started to fill the sink with water.
"You know," Jane said softly, coming up behind her. "I could have done those. You didn't have to stay either."
Lisbon shrugged. "You trying to get rid of me?"
Jane shook his head. "Don't be foolish."
"Okay then," Lisbon told him. "You can dry."
Jane obediently grabbed a dishtowel and a damp wineglass. "I take it this means you're planning on staying for longer than just the cleanup."
Lisbon nodded. "I thought I would."
"Excellent," Jane murmured, running a hand briefly along her back before he picked up another glass.
"Wouldn't want you getting lonely," Lisbon told him.
Behind her back, Jane smiled. "I would get lonely," he assured her.
"Hm," Lisbon hummed, biting her lip in pleasure.
Jane decided to change the subject. "I think my little get-together went well."
"Of course it did. What were you expecting? Van Pelt to start insulting your decor?" Lisbon asked.
"Of course not. She'd have found something nice to say even if I'd painted the walls neon green," Jane replied. "If anyone was going to be blunt, it would have been Cho."
Lisbon turned to glare at him. "Cho's blunt; he's not socially inept."
Jane smiled and pushed her hair out of her face. Since her own hands were covered in soap suds of course. "You're right. Far more likely that Rigsby would say something unintentionally unflattering because he wouldn't realize how it would sound to another person until after he said it."
Lisbon tried to stifle her laugh. Poor Rigsby. "Jane..."
Jane grinned cheerfully. "I'm not saying he'd mean to be cruel. Quite the opposite, but if we're considering probabilities..."
"You know as well as I do that no one on the team was going to insult your home," Lisbon said, defending her people.
Jane was forced to agree with her statement. "True, they weren't going to insult it..."
Now it was Lisbon's turn for triumph. "But you wanted more than that. You wanted them to like it. You wanted them to tell you how nice it was and mean it."
Jane cocked his head to the side, pleased that every so often she could still surprise him. "You really think that I'm that desperate for approval? Please woman."
"No, I don't think you're desperate for approval at all," Lisbon told him honestly.
Jane nodded, deciding to let the plates she was now washing air dry on the dish rack. He started putting away the rest of the snacks instead, including the remains of Lisbon's fruit tray. He was amazed that she'd somehow known to bring it, though for some reason he was slightly annoyed that she'd felt obliged to bring a housewarming gift at all. He snapped the lid closed. "Good."
But Lisbon wasn't finished. "I do think that for the first time in a long time, you have something that means something to you, something that you put quite a lot of effort into, and you have friends to share it with."
Jane stilled briefly in his collection of stray napkins. Damn her.
"It's okay to want people you like to like the things you do," Lisbon told him, trying not to sound superior. It was hard though, given that he did it all the time. "Some might even say human nature."
"Of course it is. It absolutely is human nature," Jane agreed. "Deciding to take the easy out she'd given him."
"And you're human," Lisbon continued.
Jane tossed the napkins in the garbage. "Yes I am."
"Jane?" Lisbon said softly.
He looked up then, noticing that the teasing smile had softened to something sweeter. He took a step towards her. "Yes Teresa?" he said, deliberately switching to her first name.
He watched her smile widen slowly. "I very much like your new house."
Jane smiled back (noting in the back of his mind with pleasure that it was still difficult not to when she looked at him like that). "So you've said."
Lisbon swallowed and held his gaze. "I thought I'd say it again."
Jane took her hand and started running his thumb along hers. "Any suggestions for improvements?"
The question made her chuckle. "Not at the moment, no. But if I think of anything, I'll let you know."
"Since you're planning on staying the night?" Jane was mildly irritated to realize it came out almost like a question.
Which Lisbon answered readily. "I thought I might."
That made her frown slightly. "Just okay?"
Jane just watched her for a moment, considering. Then he slid a hand through her hair and, taking a moment to appreciate the sudden smile in her eyes, kissed her.
She was smiling again in earnest when he pulled away. "Okay."
Placing a second kiss in the corner of her eye, Jane reached behind her to hang up his dishtowel (which had been over his shoulder). "Rigsby sat in your chair," he said conversationally.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, mildly irritated when he thought he saw her frown. "What?"
"Rigsby sat in your chair," he repeated, walking back towards the living room. "I had to chase him out."
Lisbon was definitely frowning now. "My chair?" she asked, following him.
"The one in the corner," told her, dropping onto the couch.
Lisbon sat down more gingerly beside him. "I wasn't aware that I had a chair."
Jane reached over to toy with the ends of her hair. "You always sit in it."
Lisbon couldn't argue with that. "That's true."
"You seem to like it a lot," Jane added.
She couldn't help but agree. "It's very comfortable."
Jane nodded. "Yes it is."
Lisbon turned to face him more directly, leaning her head against the back of the couch. "You were the one who bought it."
Now it was Jane's turn to frown. "What does that have to do with anything? I found it in a great little store across town."
Lisbon wasn't entirely sure why she was pushing this, but she couldn't seem to stop. It seemed important somehow. The chair wasn't actually hers. It wasn't, but... "So you bought it. It's not mine."
"It could be," Jane replied.
Lisbon froze, ordering herself to calm down. "What?"
"Well, unofficially, I guess," Jane told her, trying to keep his voice controlled.
"O-kay," Lisbon said slowly. She could feel herself inching towards him.
"Or I could make some kind of sign to make it official," Jane mused. "Put it on the back when you're not sitting in it."
She snickered, suddenly completely at ease again. "Because that wouldn't be at all odd."
"It would make things clear for anyone who visits," Jane pointed out.
Lisbon raised an eyebrow. "What if I'm not visiting?" she asked, unintentionally stressing the last word. Surely he wouldn't object to people sitting in the chair if she wasn't around.
Jane paused before answering. "Why wouldn't you be visiting?"
She ignored that. "If I'm not visiting, a sign's unnecessary."
Jane shrugged. "If you say so; it's your chair."
She stared at him. "You're a bit insane."
"Yeah," Jane agreed, moving his hand from her hair, down her arm. "You don't mind that though."
"No," Lisbon murmured, finding his fingers with her own.
Jane dropped his eyes, staring at her hand in his. "You could have more."
That distracted her from the pattern he was drawing on her palm. "What?"
Jane looked up. "If you wanted. You could have more furniture."
Lisbon swallowed and decided to try a joke. "You going to give me a stool in the kitchen as well?"
Jane smiled. "You already have one. Unofficially of course."
"Right," Lisbon murmured, simultaneously pleased and frightened.
Jane started to mentally go through the rooms of his house. "Would you like a side of the bed?"
She smiled, deciding she was pleased after all. "That I definitely thought I already had. Unofficially."
Jane smiled back, ignoring his increased heart rate for the time being. "Very true. Would you like any or all of this formalized, while we're discussing the chair?"
Lisbon chuckled. "I'm okay with not having a contract for this. Jane, what is this about?"
Jane took a deep breath. Because that was the question, wasn't it? "What if you had more than a few odd pieces of furniture?"
"How much more?" Lisbon asked quietly, trying to tell herself it wasn't hope trying to bubble up in hr chest.
Jane's eyes grabbed hers and wouldn't let go. "Half the bungalow, give or take?"
Not that Lisbon really wanted to look away. "Patrick..." she breathed.
"What if you moved in?" he continued.
To her surprise, she felt tears pricking in the corners of her eyes. "You mean that?" It was too soon. Or, at least, it felt like it should have been.
Jane shifted closer to her, bringing his other hand up to cup her face. "Yes."
Even though she could see it in his eyes, Lisbon still had to double check. "Really?"
"Yes," Jane assured her with a suddenly blinding smile. Now that he'd gotten the actual question out, the rest seemed easy. "I like it when you stay here. I don't like the days that you decide you should go back to your condo for whatever silly reason or other."
"Sometimes you come with me," Lisbon reminded him.
"Yeah, those days are fine too, I guess," Jane said absently. "But this way neither of us would have to worry about any of that. And, no more bringing clothes back and forth."
Lisbon found herself almost laughing again. That was probably a good sign. "Always a good reason to move in together."
"That wasn't the reason; that was one of the benefits," Jane clarified. "The reason is that I want to live with you. And while it doesn't have to be here, we both know you like it here. Plus, there are the rhododendrons. You've said it yourself; your condo doesn't have a garden."
"You know I like it here too," Lisbon started to say. She did. She really did. And when she went back to her condo, it was so quiet. Not that Jane was loud, but... God, she even liked his neighbours better than her own.
Jane filled the silence, suddenly afraid that he wasn't going to get the answer he wanted. "You already have a chair. We could talk about new furniture. Is there anything else you want? Anything you want to bring? I'm flexible."
"Your bookshelf is terrible," Lisbon said softly. "Especially with the slightly crooked shelf."
"Hey!" Jane objected.
"I didn't want to say anything before," she murmured. "But it just doesn't work in this room. I know you got so of your stuff quickly because you had your, well, your crazy plan, and you wanted to get everything furnished. But that bookshelf has never been good. Probably why it took you so long to get the shelves adjusted. Even you wouldn't take half an hour to screw in a shelf if the bookshelf was anywhere near decent."
Jane was really starting to get annoyed. His shelves weren't that bad. He opened his mouth to tell her so.
"And anyway, my bookshelves would look so much better there," Lisbon told him.
Jane shut his mouth abruptly, suddenly unable to do anything other than stare.
"The shelves aren't crooked," Lisbon continued, staring at the wall. "They're a better size, and they match that hutch that Barb made you."
"After I had all that trouble getting the shelves up," Jane murmured, finding his voice.
"Suck it up," Lisbon said, distracted. "And I think that we should bring the blue chair from my living room. It's better than your other chair of there, the one Cho was sitting on. It will match your couch, which I like better than mine anyway."
"Do you?" Jane whispered, torn between wanting to kiss her and wanting her to just keep talking.
"And your kitchen furniture is better," Lisbon told him, knowing she was starting to babble, but unable to stop. These were things he needed to know. Important things. "But I like my toaster. Yours always burns the bread on one side. And I'm bringing my microwave, even though you think it's the devil's instrument. We're keeping your sheets, but I'm bringing my towels. And I want my bedside table. And my dresser."
"Okay," Jane said, still staring at her in wonder. Anything she wanted, absolutely anything she wanted, if she'd only...
"Also, I always thought the lamp in my living room would look really good in your office," Lisbon continued. "I don't know why."
"It matches the desk," Jane told her. "Mine doesn't quite." He hadn't really thought about it before, but she was right. Her lamp would look better.
"Right. So that'll work. And you're seriously going to have to move the creepy picture in the hallway somewhere else. Because I don't like it when I turn around the corner at night and it's right there, staring at me and I am not living with that all the time," Lisbon informed him, noting absently that her hands appeared to be trembling. She couldn't deal with that now. "Maybe we could replace it with the picture hanging in my entranceway. I like that picture."
"You seem to have given this a lot of thought," Jane said, taking her hands in his own to soothe.
Lisbon glanced away quickly and didn't answer. The idea might have crossed her mind in the past. Once or twice.
Jane wondered vaguely whether there was a limit to how many times he could fall a little bit further in a love with her. He pulled her closer towards him, dipping his head to kiss his way along up her neck. "All of your suggestions sound excellent, dear," he whispered when he got to her ear. "Except for the microwave, but I can live with that."
Lisbon slid a hand across his chest and around his back to help him get closer. "Well, I guess I should look at renting out my condo then."
"Teresa!" Jane pulled back to stare at her. He'd thought his argument had been going fairly well, but still, he hadn't quite let himself believe it would be that easy. He'd thought she'd need some time, weeks maybe, before...
Lisbon bit her lip. "What? I'm not selling it. It's the first permanent home I ever bought. I don't want to sell it. Not yet at least. It won't be hard to rent out. And besides, a little extra income wouldn't be a bad thing."
Jane kissed her. "Of course not."
"We're really going to do this?" Lisbon murmured as she tilted her head to make it easier for him to kiss his way down her neck again. She couldn't quite believe it, but it did seem to be happening.
"I hope so, but it's really up to you," Jane admitted in his distraction (and his attempts to distract her).
"Oh god," she moaned as Jane revisited a particular spot on her neck that it'd taken him all of thirty seconds to find the first time.
Jane kissed her again.
"I'll need to get a storage unit," Lisbon murmured against his ear when he paused for breath. "While I'm sorting through furniture."
"Mmkay," Jane agreed. He was sure she would need to do that. There was probably any number of things she'd wnat to do, but he also wasn't sure she needed to talk about any of it right now. He pulled her closer towards him on the couch. Their couch. I was going to be their couch.
"And I'll need boxes," Lisbon added with a smile, threading her hands through his hair.
"Yeah," Jane agreed, his head starting to spin a little. It was all going to be theirs. Their couch, their kitchen, even their microwave. Their...
Jane stood abruptly, pulling her up with him. "Bedroom," he growled.
Lisbon stared at him for a second, surprised by the sudden shift. Then her eyes lit up in understanding. "Yes," she whispered.
Jane pushed her gently backwards out of the living room and down the hall, pausing to kiss her along the way.
"I'll even have to learn to garden now," Lisbon sighed happily to herself.
Jane didn't even try to hide his own smile. He'd known those rhododendrons would be his leverage. He couldn't believe he hadn't even needed them. "I'll teach you," he promised.
She nodded before pulling him towards their bed.
Jane was quite happy to be done with talking.
And he was even happier that his little housewarming party had actually ended up being for both of them.