Warning: Jisbon ahoy! Again, jump ship if you prefer to leave it at the last chapter. That said: okay, here's the Jisbon epilogue! It's been a while (sooooo sorry!) so just a quick reminder that this epilogue goes with my story (interpretation of Red Badge) and not the actual ep. I hope you enjoy it. I actually really like it (is that really bad and immodest?). Please let me know if there are any mistakes as I just finished writing it.
Things had changed.
Oh, not outright. Not really on her side. She was still as confused as ever, as wary as ever. Didn't know what Jane was to her. What she was to Jane.
The only difference was that she didn't really care anymore. Whatever they were or weren't, they were gonna be there. For each other. And she found that that was enough.
But Jane…well, Jane had changed in the last month. He watched her more. Tender eyes, soft smile. Thoughtful gestures. Coffee in hand for her in the mornings.
It made her laugh, almost. Of course he would notice that she didn't drink the coffee at headquarters anymore. Sure, she'd probably get over it. She trusted her team. She'd start to trust the employees at CBI again. Someday. But…just not yet. The memory of a fuzzy mind was too near.
It would be funny…if it wasn't so tragic. But hey, story of her life, she supposed.
"Shouldn't you call it quits for the night?"
She looked up at the sound of his voice. The corner of her eyes crinkled in a slight smile as she saw him leaning against her doorframe, illuminated only by her lone office light. The rest of the building had effectively shut down for the night. "I will."
He smirked, noting her avoidance of naming a time frame to stop for the night. "Soon?"
She leaned back. Touché. She couldn't get anything past him. And it still rankled a little, still irritated. Especially when she felt that he had read every chapter in her book and she could barely make it past his prologue. But even as that annoyance ran through her, it was paired with a strange sort of acceptance. If she was getting soft around him, she didn't think there was anything she could do about it. "Don't worry about me, Jane. I've got it under control."
Even she didn't quite know if she was talking about her paperwork or her life in general.
Her words drained the smug expression from his face. Serious now (something that she inexplicably dreaded), he strode forward to her desk. Sitting in the chair across from her, separated only by her desk, he surveyed her with an intensity that disarmed her—even if she was beginning to get used to it. She didn't speak. Didn't know what to say. What he wanted. Why he watched her like that now. Why he watched her at all.
Couldn't he just make it a little easier on both of them? Ignore the odd tension, the weird zing between them. Was that too much to ask?
Apparently, it was.
"Teresa," he started and she sighed at the use of her first name, "I don't think I can stop that easily."
She quickly thought back to her statement, wondering what he was saying. He couldn't stop worrying about her?
"I think it's well established that I can take care of myself, Jane," she replied gently, insistently. His eyes burned blue with emotions that she couldn't characterize. Didn't want to.
"Can you?" He responded and she thought that he really wondered, really didn't know the answer to that. Agitated, she stood and turned from him, grabbing her bag and coat.
"You're right. I can finish this paperwork in the morning."
She headed for the door, moving forward with one foot in front of the other until suddenly she wasn't. She registered his arms wrapped around her shoulders from behind, holding her in place with his face pressed into her hair.
"Jane…" She warned. He cut her off.
That voice—so desperate, so hoarse, so emotional. Not like the Jane she saw every day at work. The Jane who was either cold and heartless or mischievous and flippant. The crack in his façade made her own that much weaker. She was suddenly glad that her back was to him and he couldn't read her expression.
"I don't think this is right."
He cleared his throat and when he spoke, a little of his teasing made its way back into his voice. "That's your problem, Agent Lisbon. You shouldn't be thinking at a time like this."
She felt his small, hopeful smile against her temple as he leaned forward, leaned into her. "And what should I be doing, Jane?"
His grip turned from gently constraining to tenderly cradling. His hands slid underneath her arms, wrapping around her waist. "Feel. Just feel, Teresa."
He pressed his lips to her temple, imprinting a kiss where moments before his smile had rested. She closed her eyes, emotions conflicting within. She shouldn't do this. He was a bad addiction. She had admitted it. But that didn't mean that she should encourage it. Dive into it.
He turned her in his arms and cupped her face with both hands. Almost involuntarily, her hands clutched his suit lapels. She stared at the buttons, finding it easier than meeting his gaze. Carefully—oh so cautiously—he leaned forward to kiss her forehead.
She knew they both had issues.
He slid his mouth to her brow.
It really wouldn't work out.
A small press of his lips on her cheekbone.
He had his vendetta and she had her lawbook.
A match for the other cheekbone.
Both wore shields: he his ring and she her badge.
A playful kiss on the tip of her nose.
…but they needed each other.
A kiss to the side of her mouth, lingering. Wanting.
That's when she decided it was all over.
Their breaths mingled, reminding her of that day a month ago when he had brought her back. When he had saved her, foreheads touching. One of the few to believe in her. To stabilize her.
And as their lips met, she had the brief time to think that it was much like a swandive.
Only just enough time to realize that it was probably a stupid decision, that it could destroy you, but then you were flying through the air. Free. Wind in your face. Hoping for someone to catch you at the bottom, eyes closed tight. And then everything was spinning, lost in sensation as you fell.
When Teresa Lisbon opened her eyes, Patrick Jane stood in front of her.
She wondered if that meant she had survived the swandive.
And knew she was lost when she didn't care as long as he was there every time.