A thousand thanks to everyone for your lovely reviews! This show has long been near and dear to me, so it means a lot to know that people are enjoying these fics.
On a side note, I am posting these oneshots in either one of two fics, divided by CBI vs FBI era – "redshift" and "blueshift", for reasons of (a) organisation, (b) my utter inability to title fics, and (c) my equal failure at not being a science nerd ever.
Both fics are marked complete since they're essentially collections of standalone works, but feel free to subscribe to one or both fics for more fic if and when it happens! (I make no promises though, grad school and all.)
(in this instalment: the fact it will never cease being hilarious to me that of all people they picked these two to be the team's shakespeare-referencing bookworms)
"Good reading, Cho?"
Cho flips the page. "You know how we're still trying to figure out where the victim went between the library and the murder scene? This was the only book he checked out, I figure it might tell us something. Worth a shot."
"Mm," says Jane in response. Or maybe he's just trying to commune with the couch. Hard to tell with him, sometimes.
It's blessedly quiet in the office, the way it only ever is on early mornings. (Not so much for late nights – crime doesn't sleep but law enforcement is just sleep-deprived, plain and simple.)
Cho flips another page.
"Must be quite the interesting tale, if you couldn't put it down after spotting in – the store's bargain bin? Ah, no, the thrift shop near your place. Right, of course."
And of course Jane knows how fast he usually reads. Cho's not entirely sure Rigsby would notice, if he never turned one page during an entire stakeout.
"Good taste in books didn't stop him from getting murdered," he points out.
"A shame," Jane agrees. "Care to share?"
"You want to borrow it after I'm done? Sure, I'll leave it on your desk."
Jane flails one hand in a dismissive wave. "Eh. Too inefficient. How 'bout–" followed by another wave that Cho eventually gathers is somehow supposed to mime him moving to the couch.
Jane lies down again after he's moved, propped up slightly against him to see the book better. "There. Quite comfortable, isn't it?"
Cho's fairly certain it's not healthy, for someone to sound so attached to a piece of office furniture. "So's my desk chair."
"More sunlight, too," Jane adds, in one of his many displays of resemblance to the cats one of his less-favourite aunts had kept when he was a kid.
Cho gives up, and flips the page.
Jane settles after that, save the occasional hum of agreement when Cho pauses before turning the page, and a mutter of Rigsby when Cho's phone pings with a new text (which, true enough, does turn out to be Rigsby asking him to tell Lisbon that he's stuck in traffic and will be late – not for the first time he's glad for his habit of coming in early).
Cho's a fast reader, always has been, even back when he'd been pretending not to be. Especially so right now that he doesn't have to keep half his attention out the window like on stakeouts.
It doesn't surprise him that Jane reads just as quickly, too; Cho has heard more than one person assume that the books stacked haphazardly about Jane's desk are just for show, but either they haven't actually paid any attention to the stuff Jane says or they haven't got two brain cells to rub together.
Or both. Cho won't rule that out.
The ridiculously detailed memory is one thing, but Jane has to be a voracious reader to know half the amount of stuff that he does, and that doesn't happen by being a slow reader. (As if the speed at which he absorbs new casefiles isn't evidence enough of that already, even if most of that haste is usually Jane's own damned fault for sleeping through Lisbon's briefings.)
Anyway. Peaceful isn't really an adjective one would apply to Jane, any more than to a force of nature, but in this case it might even apply.
Between the two of them – okay, and the fact that the book is rather interesting, and the part where he might've stayed up a bit too late last night just to read one more chapter – Cho finishes the book almost faster than he'd expected.
He glances at the sequel titles listed on the last page, then down at Jane. "So, you–"
– still want to read the first half? goes unspoken.
Cho frowns. Shifts his leg a quarter inch to the right.
No response, except for a burst of pins and needles down to his foot.
Ah, thinks Kimball Cho, at no one and nothing in particular.
(Which is when Van Pelt arrives, of course, harried and hurried. She doesn't get much further than "Hey, Cho, sorry I'm l–" before Cho reflexively waves at her to pipe down.
"Sorry!" she mouths half-silently, all the while Cho thinks dammit, I'm turning into Lisbon, aren't I.)
Lisbon's busy checking something on her handphone as she strides into the bullpen, which is why she doesn't notice. "Cho and Rigsby, I want you to canvass the area again, see if there's anyone else we missed; Van Pelt, the library just sent the rest of their loan records over, see if there's anything–"
"Um," Van Pelt interrupts, very hesitantly. "Boss?"
"What?" Lisbon snaps her phone closed, follows Van Pelt's gaze over to the couch. "Oh. He actually asleep?"
"Yeah," Cho says, in lieu of clarifying that he might only be ninety-eight percent sure of that but his leg is definitely asleep. "Sorry."
Lisbon looks briefly conflicted. It's ridiculous; she'd never have any trouble yelling at their asses for sleeping on the job unless they were deathly ill or something.
Though Van Pelt would probably call it adorable if she hadn't been busy saying, "I can trade with Cho, go back to the scene with Rigsby?"
Lisbon pinches the bridge of her nose like there's even any question about the decision she's going to make. "Fine. Cho, make sure you know how to do whatever needs doing, let me know when Jane feels like joining us again. The rest of you, get moving."
Rigsby nods, already reaching over to grab the van keys off Cho's desk as Lisbon turns to leave; Van Pelt's gaze flickers around before she settles on moving the wooden chair from Jane's desk over and setting a laptop down on the seat. "You know how to use the database, right?"
"Yeah, no problem," he answers as he logs in, brings up the necessary search windows – Van Pelt might be their expert now, but they'd still needed to run these checks before she came along. And Rigsby had practically been a paragon of patience next to Hannigan, so that'd just boiled down to Cho most of the time anyway.
"I've still got some searches running from yesterday, just text me if anything pops. Oh – here's the charging cable, in case you need it."
Cho's absolutely certain Jane won't stay asleep that long, insomniac that he is, but he takes the power adapter anyway. Van Pelt's thorough like that; it's a trait he can appreciate.
(Lisbon returns moments later with both a mug of coffee and Jane's teacup, still trailing steam, which means that she agrees with him. Jane doesn't forget about his tea often; Cho doesn't need to witness his heartfelt disappointment at cold tea often to remember it anyway.
He nods. "Thanks, boss. I'll let you know when we head over."
"Sure, no rush or anything. Just a murder," Lisbon says with a roll of her eyes.
"No rush," agrees Cho, as Jane sleeps on beside them.)