The last chapter! How exciting! The conversation in this chapter came out of nowhere. I was just typing and there it was. Weird. Anyway, enjoy and thanks for reading.

It was close to eight o'clock when the consultant came back, dumping a volley of cranes onto the coffee table.

"Four hundred ten," he declared. "Almost half-way."

Lisbon looked at him hard. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Well, maybe not fine, but . . . I will be. I always am." For a moment, they looked at each other. Then Jane broke the silence, obviously growing a little uncomfortable.

"Want some more soup now?"

"Yes, please," Lisbon answered and sneezed twice.

"Bless you," Jane called from the kitchen. Lisbon smiled and admired the new additions to her paper crane collection.

"Is that all you've been doing? Making cranes?"

"Pretty much, but what with the absence of cases, there hasn't been anything else to do really." He didn't add that it helped him keep his mind away from . . . other things, but Lisbon heard the unspoken thought.

"So, what, you got bored annoying Rigsby and Van Pelt?"

"And Cho. Don't forget him."

"You don't annoy him and stop avoiding my question."

There was a silence a moment. "Well, sort of." He voice was slightly abashed and Lisbon smiled.

"Let me guess. You tried to annoy Minelli too, didn't you?"

"I . . . might have."

Lisbon laughed. "He threw you out, didn't he?"


"Are you ever going to learn?" she asked, laughing again. Her laugh became a cough which became a sneeze.

"Bless you," said Jane again. "And please don't die while I'm here. It would look suspicious. Not to mention if you choked while I was here, I would have to preform CPR which might be embarrasing for both of us."

"Oh shut up, Jane."

"Yes, ma'am. Shutting up. Do you like your cranes?"

"I guess 'shut up' isn't a word in your vocabulary?"

"Just answer my question, woman."

"Yes. I like them very much."

"Good. I'm glad." He exited the kitchen and handed her a bowl of the left-over chicken soup he had reheated on the stove. Lisbon sipped it gratefully.

"I'm making tea as well. It should be ready any moment."

"Thank you," she said and meant it.

Jane grinned his thousand watt smile. "You're welcome." The kettle chose that moment to start whistling, sending the consultant bouncing back into the kitchen. Lisbon resumed eating, grateful she had a friend like Patrick Jane. Annoying and irritating as he could be, he was nice when it counted and she appreciated it at times like this.

Over the next several days,, the pile of paper cranes grew and overflowed the coffee table. Lisbon's cold gradually got better until she was able to return to work. Her first day back was heralded by greetings from Rigsby, Cho, and Van Pelt who, it seemed, had been kept informed via the phone line about how she was doing by a certain blond, blue-eyed consultant. As Lisbon seated herself at her desk and began looking over the paperwork she had to fill to catch up, the consultant in question appeared in the doorway. Without saying a word, he placed a blue and silver crane on her desk.

"So, what number is this?" Lisbon asked.

"One thousand exactly. And look, you're all better." He smiled then and she couldn't help but smile back.

The End

Thanks for reading. I can never say that enough. You guys reading and then reviewing keeps me writing and posting and generally puts me in a good mood (hint, hint). I'm trying to make 1000 paper cranes by the way, but I'm not even to 100 yet even though I started like last year:P Oh, well, it's the thought that counts right? Don't forget to review ~ Blue Dragon