Welcome to the fifth and final part of my story arc. To understand what's going on, you might want to read the first four parts of it as well or expect to feel completely lost. The fics to read ahead of this one are "Food For Thought", "A Mockingbird In A Fir Tree", "Making A Night Of It", and "Whatever Floats Your Boat".
This fic is a direct continuation of the last one mentioned ("Whatever...") and starts only a few hours later early on Sunday morning.
As the characters in this story are in a committed relationship and are adults, they do express their feelings physically as well, which makes this an M rated fic. There'll also be some violence, but nothing too graphic.
And a fair warning: This will be a rather long story. I've already written a lot of it and it's still not complete, though the end is in sight - for me at least.
I've given Jane and Lisbon quite a bit of additional background during the course of this story arc. I've tried to stay in compliance with the few facts we get about their lives on the show from before they joined the CBI. But as I have elaborated on that a lot, the characters might appear OOC. This is enhanced by the intensity and closeness of their newfound intimate relationship, which gives them a place to express themselves much more openly than we're used to in canon, where the bounds of friendship are never crossed.
Once again I would like to thank my beta 'firstdown' for her great work, her encouragement, and the nice internet friendship across continents, which has developed between us during the course of this cooperation.
All remaining mistakes are mine of course.
Neither 'The Mentalist' nor any other works from other sources mentioned in this fic are mine. I only show my deepest respect for their great achievements by using them for my enjoyment for a while.
Sorry for the long author note... but one last thing: I want to thank all the loyal readers, who have born with me so far. I hope, I can sustain your interest a while longer yet...
I'm a sucker for reviews and appreciate all your comments... hint, hint...
Catch A Tyger By His Tail
Teresa Lisbon was pulled out of a deep slumber when a flailing hand connected painfully with her cheek. She cried out and was fully awake in a matter of seconds. She quickly oriented herself, recalling the where and when and whom with, the last part helped along greatly by her bedmate's frantic shouts.
"Get'ff, get'ff. Please, leave me'lone. No more, no more, please," were the words she managed to identify from Patrick's garbled sleep-talk.
He was obviously in the middle of a nightmare and according to what she could gather from his cries, this one didn't seem to be about blood and smiley-faces for a change. Well, they had expected something like that to happen already the night before, so neither the fact nor the content surprised her. But she had hoped for his sake that he would be spared for once. The poor guy never got a break, it seemed. But after their heavy conversation the previous evening, this was to be expected. He had a lot of things to work through in his subconscious.
She opted to heed his wishes for the moment and left her position on top of him. He obviously felt trapped right now and the last thing she wanted to do was cause him more anguish. She was a bit undecided whether to wake him or not.
A glance at her alarm clock told her, that it was 3:15 am. If she remembered correctly, they'd prepared for bed around midnight. She'd fallen asleep not too long afterwards, meaning she'd had about three hours, but how much sleep Patrick had gotten was anyone's guess. Probably not more than two. The question was whether a nightmare filled one was better than none. She really didn't know, but his shouts were heart-breaking. She had just about made up her mind when the decision was taken from her. He woke up with a gasp and sat up straight, eyes wide open in fear and remembered pain.
She took hold of one of his hands and started to draw circles on the back of it with her thumb. She had done that before, when she'd comforted him after a bad dream during their time as roomies, and it seemed to calm and ground him.
"You're fine, Patrick. You just had a nightmare. Everything's fine," she said in a soothing voice.
"Teresa?" he croaked.
"Yes, imp. I'm right here with you," she confirmed.
He turned his had and sought her eyes in the darkness. The streetlights offered just enough light to make out her face. "Sorry, did I wake you?"
"No problem. It's not like you did it on purpose. Do you want to talk about it?" she asked gently.
"I… no, I don't think so. Just some stupid memories. Nothing much to talk about. Thanks for the offer, though," he answered, getting up from the bed.
"Are you sure? Where are you going?" she asked.
He had nearly reached the bedroom door when he replied. "For a walk. To clear my mind. Just go back to sleep, love. I'm fine."
She got up as well and followed, grabbing his shoulder to stop him. "Patrick, please. Why don't we just talk it through? I don't want you to be alone."
"Well, incidentally, I want to be alone right now, Lisbon. Could you please unhand me?" he said in an almost cold voice.
She released him. "I don't like your tone, Patrick. Just because you're hurting doesn't give you the right to treat me like that."
He stopped in his tracks and turned around to face her with a guilty expression. "I apologize, Teresa. You are right, of course. I didn't mean to snap at you. Still, I need some time on my own. It has nothing to do with you. I just need to sort a few things out. I promise, I'll be back in a few hours, okay? You just go back to bed. I'll be fine, really. No reason to worry."
"I still don't like it," she said, caressing his cheek with the back of her hand. "I want to be there for you. You are not alone anymore, Patrick. I want to help you."
He leant down and kissed her lightly. "I appreciate that, Teresa. I really do. But this is something I have to do on my own. A lot of heavy topics have come up lately and I need some time to put things into perspective. That's how my mind works, love. It's always been like that. And walking helps me to sort things out. It's nothing personal." He paused a moment. "Well actually, you were the one who gave me quite a lot to think about, so essentially it's your own fault, really." The last words had been accompanied by a little smirk that had the desired effect to reassure her a bit.
She took hold of his face between her hands and looked him straight in the eyes. "I can't very well lock you in. But please keep your promise and come back. I don't want to sit here and worry about you ever again." She pressed her lips to his for a short, almost desperate kiss, a lone tear leaving her eye.
He wiped the tear away tenderly and pulled her into a hug. "Sh, Emy. It's alright. I promise, I won't leave you. I'll just stroll through your neighborhood for a while. I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep now, anyway. I'll be back before you wake up again. Please don't worry. I love you," he whispered gently into her ear.
"Alright. But I still don't have to like it," she said slightly defiant. A yawn destroyed the effect a little.
"How about a compromise? I'll stay with you, until you've fallen asleep again. That way, you won't even realize I'm gone," he suggested kindly, seeing how tired she was.
She smiled at him. "You would do that for me?"
"Of course. I never meant to hurt you with this. I'm just not used to having someone around anymore, someone who might worry. For nearly a decade, I've pretty much been doing whatever, whenever I felt like it. Physical activity is one of my favorite pastimes during sleepless nights," he explained. "Maybe because I'm mostly lazing around on couches during the day…" he added with a grin.
She took a hold of his hand and pulled him back into the bedroom. "Will you lie down with me?" she asked sleepily.
"That wouldn't be very practical. I don't want to wake you, when I leave, after all. But I can tuck you in." He offered.
She lay down on her usual side of the bed and he spread the comforter over her, making sure to cover her completely, so only her head peeked out. She took the position she normally slept in, turned on the side so she was facing the door. Patrick sat down beside her on the bed, resting his back against the head board.
One of his hands stroked her back soothingly, while he started to talk to her in a mesmeric voice. "Why don't you close your eyes, love? Your lids are so heavy with sleep. Isn't it peaceful here? Listen to my voice. Isn't it peaceful? You are so exhausted, your whole body feels heavy. Let the mattress carry all the weight. Yes, just like that. Let it all melt away. You are very relaxed, no worries on you mind, everything has melted away. Feel the peace, love. Sleep now."
Her eyelids had drooped nearly the moment he'd started to talk her into a trance and when he uttered his last order, she dropped off into a deep sleep immediately.
Teresa awoke again at nine am and her first conscious thought was: 'The bastard hypnotized me!'
But she had to admit that she felt incredibly well rested and refreshed. She turned on her back and cast a look to his side of the bed. As she had expected, it was empty. She got up slowly, her head still feeling a bit dizzy with sleep. She found her sweatpants and t-shirt from the day before lying discarded on the floor beside her bed and put them on. When she opened the bedroom door, she could hear faint noises from her kitchen, indicating that Patrick had indeed returned. She sighed with relief. It was obvious she still had quite a few issues when it came to trusting him and his promises. But at least it seemed like he did his best to alleviate her fears. She appreciated that very much.
She went down the stairs and rounded the corner to her kitchen, stopping before entering to take a good look at him. He wore his jeans again and one of his dress shirts, the sleeves rolled up and only the first three buttons at the bottom closed. He was exhausted, that much was clearly visible by the prominent bags under his eyes. But other than that, he seemed to be in a good mood. An intense aroma of chocolate whiffed over to her and it was first now she really noticed that he was puttering around with something in deep concentration.
"What are you doing?" she asked, her voice still husky from sleep.
"Morning, sleepyhead," he answered looking up from his task with a warm smile. "I didn't hear you. Your sneaking abilities are really coming along. Good for you," he grinned, going back to his work. "Oh, and there's coffee for you in the pot over there." He motioned with his head. "Should be fresh enough still. I made it about fifteen minutes ago. Figured, you'd be ready to wake up right about now."
She padded over to him and found his mouth for a kiss. He tasted of chocolate and tea. She moaned happily. Coming to her senses again, she broke the kiss and punched him on the shoulder hard enough for it to hurt.
"Ouch!" he exclaimed with indignation. "What did you do that for?"
"You hypnotized me, you bastard!"
"I did no such thing. It was merely a light trance to help you relax enough to fall asleep. Nothing sinister and certainly no reason to cause me bodily harm," he explained. "And you did sleep well, didn't you? So what's the problem?"
"I don't want you in my mind, okay? I already let you into pretty much everything else, but my mind is my own, got that?" she stated emphatically.
He looked at her, amusement sparkling in his eyes. "Teresa, dear. I wasn't in you mind. That's not how it works. I only made a few suggestions…"
She interrupted him angrily. "Don't patronize me, Patrick Jane! I don't want to be manipulated like that. Period. Play your stupid mind games with other people, but not with me."
His eyes had lost their sparkle and he looked like a chastised little boy. "I just wanted you to get some rest. You were too agitated to fall asleep. I only helped you to relax a bit. It wasn't my intention to play mind games with you. I'm sorry. I won't do it again."
She went over to the coffee pot and found an empty mug already waiting for her to be filled. She poured herself a good portion of the hot beverage, took a deep swallow and let the bitter liquid soothe her.
"It's okay, Patrick. I understand." She took a deep, steadying breath. "But you know how uncomfortable I am with all this mental stuff. Please don't do something like that again without asking my permission first. Can we agree on this?"
"Yes, certainly. I'm really sorry, Teresa. For me it's so much second nature sometimes I forget that it's not like that for the rest of the world." Looking up again from whatever he was doing, he cast her a wistful look. "Do you know how much I wished I could do that particular exercise on myself? But unfortunately, meditation doesn't help my insomnia. Sorry, I made you so uncomfortable. I'm an idiot. I should have known how you'd feel about it. It was a very thoughtless thing to do."
She sat down her nearly empty mug and came over to him. She put her arms around his waist from behind, so she was embracing him with her chest to his back.
"As I said, you're forgiven. Just don't do it again." She got up on her toes and pressed a kiss to his neck. "What are you doing anyway? You never answered my question. All I see, is lots of white chocolate. And though I love chocolate, I hope it's not meant to be our breakfast."
He snickered. "Nah, our breakfast is in the oven. Well, part of it. I've made some biscuits. They should be ready in a few minutes."
"You made biscuits from scratch? Have I told you that I love you lately?" she asked in awe.
He laughed, both at her astonishment and for being off the hook again. "Sweet-talk will get you everywhere with me, Emy. I had quite a bit of time on my hands, so I used it productively."
"Yes, well. We've settled the breakfast question but you still haven't explained what you're doing with all the chocolate," she announced.
She released him and picked up her coffee cup again. She could see his mien turning a bit bashful and was very confused about it.
"Van Pelt's birthday is coming up next week," he said in way of an explanation.
"She seemed to really enjoy the chocolate truffles last year, so…" he said, embarrassment clouding his voice.
"You are making chocolate truffles from scratch? For Grace?" she asked amazed. "Why don't you just buy some like last year? She absolutely loved those, by the way. I remember that she bugged you for weeks afterwards to reveal the name of the confectionary where you got them, but you, of course, wouldn't blab." She smiled fondly. Suddenly a look of comprehension crossed her face. "No way! That's just… You made them yourself last year as well, didn't you? That's why you wouldn't tell her where you bought them." She smiled warmly at him. "Jane, sometimes you really are too good to be true."
He seemed very uncomfortable now and busied himself to avoid looking at her.
"There's nothing wrong with being kind, Patrick. Why are you always hiding things like that from everyone?" she asked carefully.
He shrugged nonchalantly and went over to the oven to check on the biscuits. Deeming them ready, he grabbed some oven mitts, covered his hands, and took them out. The smell was enticing.
Teresa realized she wouldn't get anything else out of him at the moment and decided to make herself useful and lay the table. She got the necessary cutlery and dishes and asked, "Where do you want to eat? Shall we be extra adventurous and use my dinner table for once?"
He grinned at her. "What a marvelous idea, Lisbon. However did you come up with such an ingenious plan?"
"You do know what they say about sarcasm, imp, right?" she teased.
He just snickered and went to the fridge to get the rest of their breakfast items and followed her to the table. He went back to the kitchen and she accompanied him, stealing a kiss in the process. "I'll get my coffee and your tea. Can you manage the rest."
"Sure thing. I'll just have to put the ganache into the pantry. It has to settle for a while, before I can continue. I'll be back in a minute," he explained.
She took the coffee and the tea pot and their two mugs and went back to the table, all the while shaking her head. "Gun-natch? What the hell is that supposed to mean? That man…" she murmured to herself.