Author's notes: Well this turned out different than I expected. I hope you like Iit.
Jane is second guessing himself as he drives towards Lisbon's apartment. Had it been wise to use the word date? She'd obviously freaked out since she dropped the phone when he said it. Perhaps it would've been wiser to have introduced the subject a little slower. Why had he called it a date? The answer is easy, because that's what this is, in his mind anyway and he wanted it to be in her's too. They've eaten a meal together plenty of times, this one needs to be different. So much of his life has been on hold for so long that slow just won't cut it any longer. So here he is driving towards Lisbon's place with flowers lying on the seat beside him, not knowing what is waiting for him.
Lisbon was ready far too early. She's tidied her shelves five times already. She looks at all the items lined up, symmetrically. The cds in alphabetical order, the photo frames placed at perfect angles. She knows, with one look, Jane will realize what she's been doing, so she messes them up again. This is silly, being nervous, she's had a meal with Jane before, this is just the same thing. Except he used the word date. Curse the man!. He's probably enjoying himself, knowing the effect his invite would have on her. Double curse the man! She jumps when there's a knock at the door. She yanks it open and going with the adrenalin flow, she launches a tirade at the poor man standing in the doorway, holding his bunch of flowers.
"Jane I hate you. I hope you've had your fun, laughing at the state you've put me in with your silly games. I've tidied this place five times waiting for you and spent an hour choosing something to wear when I didn't really have anyth... what are you wearing?"
He opens his arms and gives a little spin in his cream suit and pale blue shirt.
Lisbon gathers herself.
"I'm sorry that was rude. You look great. It's just I wasn't expecting.."
"You thought I would wear one of my regular suits."
"Well you did for Kristina's date."
Lisbon kicks herself again. Not exactly a happy memory for Jane.
"They belong to another life I want to put behind me. I have these."
He hands Lisbon the flowers. She takes them, still stunned, still staring at Jane.
"Are you going to put them in water so we can get going? I forgot to mention, you look gorgeous."
You certainly do. He thinks to himself as Lisbon walks away towards the kitchen. The green dress clinging to her curves. . It's not often he's seen Lisbon in a dress during the nine years they've known each other. He remembers that pink monstrosity for Van Pelts wedding, she had looked so cute with the scowl on her face.
In the car they fall back on talking about work and the case they picked up.. Though Jane would like to change the subject, he senses that it's helping Lisbon to relax, but he definitely won't allow any 'work talk' once at the restaurant.
Their table is ready when they arrive. It's very busy even for a week day, a sign to Lisbon that this has very good food. The maitre de and plush surroundings tell her that it's also expensive. As they snake their way to the table Jane guides her with his hand firmly against her back. Usually it's just a fleeting touch, then his hand just hovers behind her. She can't deny the warmth that is racing through her body at his touch.. Jane pulls out her chair. she feels self-conscious accepting it, but flashes him a smile. Their waiter appears immediately, handing them their menus. Jane watches Lisbon peruse the dishes on offer, as he knows what he wants, and he can almost see her mouth salivating. She looks up from her menu.
"It all sounds so delicious. What would you recommend?"
"I'm having the lamb, they cook it perfectly here."
"I haven't had lamb in a long time, I'll have that too."
She folds her menu closed and places it on the table. The waiter is there instantly to take their order. Jane suggests a wine and Lisbon defers, as he knows more than her on the subject. She unconsciously takes a deep breath wondering that with the preliminaries over , will she know what to say on a date.
She looks across at Jane. He really does look good. His face is less drawn, there's a peace about him. His eyes are dancing and the smile he's giving her is devastating. She looks down and moves her fork in line with the rest of the silverware, embarrassed to be staring. Jane voice comes to her softly.
"Will you marry me?"
Lisbon's heart stops for a beat at the shock , her eyes dart to Jane's face, she knows that horror must be written all over hers. . He's laughing at her.
"See you can relax now, the worst has happened. Just tell me no and you don't have to worry about it for the rest of the night."
Lisbon can't stop the smile, though she wants to pretend to be annoyed at him for almost giving her a heart attack. She teases him back.
"Well maybe I'll keep you guessing on that one."
Jane cocks his eyebrow in mock surprise.
"Mmmmm I'll work on that. Since this is an official date, may I call you Teresa? And you can call me Patrick, if that won't be too weird for you."
The thought of using given names seems weird to Lisbon but she's willing to give it a go.
"That will be fine Patrick."
Yep, definitely weird.
"With this curve ball you sent me I haven't asked how it went today"
"I"m alright. I told them that their killer was no longer walking the earth. It felt good Teresa, inside it felt good. I realised I was wrong about one thing though. Taking revenge wasn't the best thing I could do for them. When I was telling them, I just knew that isn't what they would have wanted. They would want me to move on with my life, from the beginning they would have wanted that and deep down I think I've always known. But I couldn't do it. The guilt was too strong. I had to get Red John first to be able to give myself to someone else."
Lisbon knows that Jane has never been more honest with her than he is now. Jane raises his left hand off the table and looks at it for a moment. He slowly removes his wedding ring. He holds it up and reads the inscription 'Patrick, My love.". He slips it into his pocket. Jane flexes his fingers and smiles at Lisbon.
"Sorry, Patrick. Are you sure? It's a big step."
"I'm a big boy. I'm sure."
A movement catches Jane's eyes away from Lisbon's face.
"Ah food's here."
Jane is right the lamb is delicious. The scene she's just witnessed is not as easy to digest. Not that she isn't pleased that Jane's moving on with his life but it seems he wants to do it with her.
Relationships have never been her strong point. She'd go as far as to say she's awful at them. Not one has been successful and she gave up on them years ago. Too much heartache involved and the heart on offer now is the most frailest of them all. She can't do this. it wouldn't be right.
Suddenly a hand gently covers hers, how has she never noticed how graceful his fingers are. She looks up at Jane's face, it's a mixture of amusement and pleading.
"Give this a chance Teresa, it's more likely that I'll mess up rather than you. I'm more talented at it. I'm not asking for commitment, just to give it a try. See if we can get through all the reasons why it shouldn't work and come out still together at the other side."
"What if it spoils what we have now. I value your friendship."
"This is a date, that's s all. No promises of anything else. Just two people willing to give it a try.
Jane studies the subtle reactions in Lisbon's breathing and reactions as he watches her think through the things he's said. He feels like a teenager, he has to concentrate to stop his hands from sweating. Both their meals are forgotten about, their forks lying still on their plates.
He's my best friend. There's no-one I share the same relationship with. No-one's company I enjoy more. I know he cares about me and that I care about him. Could it be possible that we're not that far away. A startling thought enters her head. 'Would I be able kiss him.' She can't stop her eyes straying to his mouth 'I wonder what it's like.?'
Jane grins as he reads her reactions. Lisbon blushes knowing he's read her mind. Jane picks up his fork.
"Good, now that's settled shall we get on with the date."
Lisbon relaxes and says a silent thanks that he's letting it slip by. She picks up her wine glass holding it aloft to make a toast.
"To our first date Patrick"
They clink glasses. Jane's eyes twinkle as he takes a sip.
"I have just one question Teresa. Do you kiss on the first date?"