Hope it doesn't suck! There are adult situations and a swear word or two, but no full-on sex scene. Also, some LOTR references at the end there. Just couldn't help it. Burst out of me. But it fit so well…In Absentia
He had taken one day off.
Really. What could happen in a day?
Well, apparently a lot. Who the hell had thought this was a good idea?
Lisbon was undercover. Without any backup from her own team. Apparently another unit had needed someone who fit her description to pull off an inside job. Why, he had asked, did it have to be someone of her description?
The rather blasé answer (too blasé, in his opinion) had been that the men's club—bar—specialized in offering every type of woman a man could possibly want. And petite, dark haired, and curvy had been the bill. And, conveniently, Lisbon fit it. Jane scowled as he thought of it again.
At their beck and call.
Without him there.
She would laugh if she were here and make some snarky comment about what a great help he would be on her undercover op—he could practically hear the sarcasm splat against the floor as her imagined words dripped in it.
Jane would have thought that at least Cho would insist on being in on it, having her back, but nope. Apparently this other unit had men in. Jane scoffed. They wouldn't be nearly as good at undercover as he. After all, who had spent years living behind a façade at work? Who still lived a façade for the majority of his days?
Yes. That would him. Patrick Jane. Maybe he should have been an actor…
Anyway, point was that Lisbon was in danger (in more ways than one). Jane had overheard that a big hit was happening at the club (drugs, money, something like that—Jane didn't really care about those details at this point). Likely the case would be over today. One way or another. And Jane had decided that he needed to be there. Had he been in yesterday, he would have talked Lisbon into it anyway. That was his justification, at least. To himself. Because he didn't really feel the desire to share with the team. They might try to stop him.
Jane took a deep breath, preparing to see Lisbon potentially being pawed at by other men (wait, that 'other' would imply that he had pawed at her, which—sadly—hadn't happened). He shook off his irritation and assumed the look of a playboy, down to the swaggering walk.
The bar was dimly lit, booths lining the sides and a small, cozy dance floor. The place was teeming with couples in varying stages of, er, intimacy. He spotted Lisbon in a booth, sitting next to a handsome man. Said man had his arm draped around her, holding her close. His other hand was resting high on Lisbon's thigh. Bare thigh. Her short shorts uncovered legs that seemed to go for miles, even though Jane knew that Lisbon was decidedly shorter than almost anyone he knew so there was no way that was possible. Oh, the illusions (or delusions) a female body could induce in males…
The man nuzzled Lisbon's neck and she giggled coquettishly. Jane was entranced. She was a great actress. Better than he had suspected. Then again, if it was for the job, he supposed he shouldn't have expected otherwise. She was nothing if not a dedicated agent of the law. He would almost think she was enjoying this.
If he didn't know her better.
Her attention was keenly trained on the entire place, keeping tabs specifically on the large group in a corner booth. Jane could tell that Lisbon was dying to relay information to the outside team (she must have a wire somewhere, though with that microscopic shirt Jane couldn't begin to fathom where). She would soon have to find an excuse to ditch Mr. Touchy Feely. Jane glowered. It was easy enough for him to pick out the ring leader for this circus, the man who made the business transactions for the ladies.
"I want her." Jane was surprised at the intensity in his voice as he indicated Lisbon as his choice. The man nodded.
"There's an hour wait. She's been popular." The man was casual in his tone, not expecting this to be a problem. Jane wasn't sure if he more sickened or enraged at that little gem of knowledge. His stomach clenched in anger. Okay. He chose enraged. He pulled out his credit card.
"I'll pay for everyone's deposits and then triple what you're asking if I get her now." The smarmy man standing in front of Jane froze, likely mentally calculating the profits. He looked up sharply.
"Sure. She's up in five."
"I mean now." Jane wondered if he had the self-restraint to keep himself from going to the booth and pulling her away from Sir Grabby. As it turned out, he didn't have to wonder because his friend Smarmy immediately went over and, with a few short sentences, Mr. Feel-her-up was on his way out. Smarmy gave Jane a short nod and as Lisbon looked around curiously, Jane headed over.
He could tell the instant she saw him. She tensed almost imperceptibly and he could practically see her fingers twitch with the need to pull her shorts down, to hide some of her luscious skin. Jane let his expression become focused on her, lust shining through his gaze. She looked startled for a moment, then relaxed. She obviously thought that he was putting on an act for the op.
He was a little startled himself to realize that this lust was anything but an act.
When he reached the table, she scooted up against the wall and patted the seat beside her invitingly. He slid in. And kept sliding until his side was pressed to hers.
Smarmy wandered off to process the credit card, hoping that this guy wearing a three-piece suit became a regular.
Jane was acutely aware of her length next to his. In a way that he hadn't felt in years. She put one hand on his shoulder and her other on his forearm, leaning forward to put her warm mouth against his ear. He fought to keep from shuddering.
"Six guys at northeast corner. Four packing, two unarmed. Table covered in drugs, diamonds, and enough other things to nail 'em for a long time. Wait another three minutes for one more to join them and then do the bust." Jane knew she was talking for the benefit of the outside team, but her hands were too distracting for him to contribute to the discussion. Meh. He figured she had that under control. And him, actually. "With what we have on them, we should be able to wring enough info out of them to get to the top."
The hand that had been on his shoulder slid up into his curls and Jane almost closed his eyes in bliss. God, was there anything better than the feel of gentle fingers running caressingly against your scalp?
Her lips ghosted down his throat as her other hand transferred from his forearm to his chest, sliding under his vest. Her fingers grazed his nipple through his shirt and he discovered he was wrong.
Yes, it could get better.
"I can't watch them very covertly, Jane. I'm going to maneuver us so you can keep tabs, okay?"
Her words came through the haze, but before they could truly register in his mind she was turning his world upside down. By the time he had digested her warning, she was straddling his lap. Thighs on either side of his, pressed against him intimately.
Shit. This was not good. Soon she would feel just how much he was not focused on the case.
As she gently pushed his suit jacket down his shoulders and off of him, she leaned forward. Now she was plastered against him. He could feel her breasts pressed against his chest and tried very hard not to groan.
Whose bright idea had it been for him to come in after her? To a gentleman's bar?
Her dark hair cascading to the side, she delicately licked the side of his neck. This time his body did jerk. He couldn't help it. She muttered a soft sorry against his throat—an apology he felt rather than heard. No need to alert the team listening avidly on the wire. He cleared his throat and slid his hands slowly up her back, following the delicate line of her spine. He should probably look like he wasn't shell-shocked. Which he was. But that was beside the point.
"They're negotiating over—" Jane broke off on a gasp as Lisbon shifted in his lap. "Ahem, over the product. Still no number seven."
He was proud of himself for finishing the description. God, it had been a long time. He had forgotten how good it could feel. Too good.
She stiffened for a moment, feeling just how good he thought this all was. She pulled away slightly and gave him an understanding smile.
Her expression was so loud, he could almost hear her: "It's okay, Jane. It would happen with any woman. Natural reaction of a man's body to a woman's body. Nothing personal."
Nothing personal, his ass. It was now or never. He leaned forward and kissed her. It started off slow with her lack of response attributed to shock. Then suddenly it was as if a fire had been ignited and they were kissing as if tomorrow was the end of the world. And maybe it was the end of their world as they knew it. Jane didn't think he could ever go back from this.
Jane pulled her even closer and Lisbon slid her hands into his hair. His own traveled back down the length of her back to her hips, where he pulled her flush against the evidence of just how personal this was. She whimpered, ever so softly.
Breaking away, he trailed hot, open-mouthed kisses down the elegant column of her throat. With a last caress of her hip, he moved one hand up under the bottom of her translucent shirt. A little rough and warm against her skin, she was reminded of how long it had been since she had sex. Her thighs tightened almost involuntarily, pressing her warmth against the hardness of him. He exhaled shakily against her throat and stilled, seeming to remember where they were and why.
He glanced up. "Seventh is here."
Lisbon came crashing back down to earth. Right. Just a show. For the op.
She moved to get off him in preparation for the team's entrance, but his grip stilled her.
"Don't. Move." He ground the words out from a clenched jaw and she looked at him in surprise.
"Are you really going to make me answer that?" His eyes ruefully flicked down before meeting hers once more.
"Oh. Oh," she said, not knowing how to handle this awkward situation. "Um, sorry."
"Don't apologize. It's just, I have to get control and you wiggling about on my lap does not help."
She blushed, nodding quietly and sitting very, very still. Jane would have laughed at her sudden and complete obedience if he wasn't feeling so strained. He wanted nothing more than to take her out to his car and leave for greener pastures—damn the case. But she would never leave if she thought she was needed to carry out justice. She was adorably dedicated.
With that thought, he felt an overwhelming affection for the bundle of woman in his lap. He leaned forward and enveloped her in a gentle, affectionate hug. Placing his forehead against her shoulder, he took deep breaths and imagined scenarios that would calm his libido.
Minelli in a speedo. He grimaced.
Rigsby in a Playboy Bunny costume. Disgusting, really.
Cho popping out of a huge cake a la stripper style. Ew. Okay, that was an image he didn't need to imagine.
Yup. Happy feeling gone now. During his thoughts, their embrace had changed as if of its own accord. Jane had nuzzled his head into her hair (likely trying to escape the horrifying visions that he had brought upon himself). His hands clasped her to him. There was no longer anything sexual about this embrace, but it was nonetheless intimate.
A quick flurry of action across the room and the group of criminals was unanimously arrested. Jane finally felt confident enough to lean back.
"Well, Lisbon. What do you say we blow this joint?"
It had been hours.
Hours of filling out paperwork. Answering questions. Giving statements.
Jane waited in her office, blinds drawn, wondering if she would ever be done with that team. He suspected that Johnson (the senior agent) just wanted to keep her busy in order to stop her from changing out of those shorts that were so desperately seeking their other half so they could be whole and decent once more. The rest of the team—hell, most of the building—had gone home.
He heard the distinct sound of metal against metal as her doorknob turned.
He watched as she entered, turning without noticing him to shut and lock the door behind her. Back to him, she stretched her hands above her head. Her shirt rode up, exposing more of her beautiful waist. Jane swallowed hard. Those shorts fit her backside like a second skin.
He cleared his throat, causing her to jump and spin around. Hastily, she tugged her shirt down to cover more of her stomach. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you were looking at it), this caused more of her cleavage to become visible.
Dammit. He just couldn't win. He mentally shook himself. Time to focus on the task at hand.
"Lisbon, you really shouldn't be going on ops like that alone."
She relaxed and strode to her desk, forgetting her irritating clothing and rifling through the papers on top to find something. She rolled her eyes at him as she shuffled through a particularly large stack. "I wasn't alone, Jane. There was an entire team to back me up."
He frowned. "I don't see why they needed you anyway. You're not part of their team. You have your own team."
He sounded almost recalcitrant and she shot him a warning look. "We're all on the same team. The CBI."
He huffed. "Well, I just don't see why they needed you."
"Because the bar was looking for someone of my description to employ."
"Men who frequent those places are the worst, Lisbon. You never know who you're gonna get as a customer," Jane said grumpily. Lisbon tossed him a smile.
"You're right. I ended up with you," she laughed. Setting her stack down, she smoothed one paper out on her desk and hunted for a pen now. "Besides, I can take anything they throw at me. You should know that by now."
Finding a pen, she leaned over her desk to sign on the paper. She was in front of her desk lamp and it threw her figure in silhouette. Her pert bottom stuck out slightly as her body bent to accommodate her actions. As if of its own accord, Jane gravitated to her, placing a warm hand on her lower back. She froze and his hand traveled around her waist to her stomach. He pulled her up straight to stand in front of him as he used his other hand to grasp her shoulder. His chest to her back.
"Anything?" He asked, nuzzling his nose against her neck.
"What?" Her voice was disoriented, confused. His hand ran from her shoulder to her hand, twining their fingers as he placed a kiss at the pulse point of her throat.
"You said you could take anything thrown at you. Can you?"
The lust-induced haze lifted enough for her to read the subtext in his words. He was asking if she could handle this. Him. The broken man bent on revenge. Everything that came with him.
Could she take it?
She placed her free hand over his that rested low on her stomach, leaning back against his chest. "You doubt me?"
She freed her hands from his and turned, pushing under his suit jacket to wrap her arms around him. He studied her face as she gently tugged his shirt from his waistband so she could place her hands on his bare skin. After all, turnabout was fair play.
"No. I will never doubt you."
Remembering what happened last time, she leaned forward. She licked his neck below his ear and blew gently on it. This time, he didn't bother to hold back his shudder. God, he wanted her. But…
"I don't want you to doubt me."
She pulled back at his surprising words, eyes meeting his in a silent question.
"This isn't a one night stand. But I can't promise forever either. I need to go after Red John and I know you need to keep it by the book. We may not agree on everything, but I will never willingly hurt you. I will always be there for you. I want this to be more than a night. I want it to be however long we have together."
Her breath seemed caught in her chest. Her heart beat so hard that she wondered if he could feel it where her chest pressed against his. He was intent on her face, waiting for a response. She felt the evidence of his arousal pressed against her, but he didn't rush her. Just sat there, so still, as if he had all day. As if he weren't dying to christen his couch.
She pushed her hips against his in a slow undulation and his eyelids fluttered a bit. "I think this is something we can both agree on."
His hands grabbed her hips to hold her still. "I'm serious, Teresa."
She felt frustrated. She wasn't sure yet if she was okay with this being more than one night, being more than sex. She…cared for him, but life had been tough. Caring usually led to one thing in her experience: heartache. She wanted this. Wanted to have sex with him now, tonight.
"Why are you making this so complicated?"
The side of his mouth kicked up slightly. "When do I ever make it easy?"
Well, he had a point there. He continued before she could respond. "And I want to be sure we're on the same page. So that if I'm off for a day again, I won't have to find out from the team that you went on a mission like this."
He kissed her forehead gently, belying the fierce passion that was bristling beneath the surface. Lisbon took the initiative, instigating another kiss. She pulled back. "I want this. I want you. Don't you want me?"
"I don't think I need to answer that." Jane's hands slid from her hips to cup her ass, pulling her flush against him for the second time that day. Fire slid through both their veins. She was about to open her mouth to ask why they couldn't just leave it like this for now. "But I want all of you. I've always been selfish."
He leaned down to suckle at her neck and for a moment her vision went white with desire. Damn him. "So what will it be, my dear?"
"Damn you. Yes. Fine. Whatever." She would agree to almost anything right now, she wanted him so badly. He smiled.
"So this isn't a one-time deal? You won't want to forget it in the morning?"
She bit her lip nervously and one of his hands traced the contour of her side on its path to her breast. She gasped. "No, it's not a one-time thing, you manipulative son of a bitch."
He tsked at her. "Is that any way to speak to your lover?"
"We're not lo—" He interrupted her with a deep kiss, tongues tangling fervently. He pulled back and stepped away.
"Not yet. But we will be." He grabbed her coat and covered her, making sure to hide as much skin as possible. He missed Lisbon's usual, conservative clothes. All of that skin was only for his eyes now. After grabbing her bag and keys, he herded her out the door.
They ran into Senior Agent Johnson as they were leaving the elevator. "Lisbon, just who I was looking for! Could you—"
Jane cut in ruthlessly. "She's busy, Johnson."
Throwing an arm around her waist—a foreign move that he remembered from a lifetime ago; staking a claim—he dragged her off to his car. It got better speed than hers. And he needed to be at her place ten minutes ago.
Pushing her up against the side of his car, he caught her lips in another kiss. Her eyes were slightly glazed as he bustled her into the passenger seat. He grinned as he rounded the car to get the driver's seat.
Oh yes. There wouldn't be any more crazy plans when he was away.
Because even in absentia, he would make sure she knew what this was, what she was part of. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he put a hand high on her bare thigh and leered at her in an exaggerated version of a lecherous old man. She laughed, a sound he delighted in. He really couldn't wait to get to her place.
It would be a night neither of them would forget.
And he didn't want to. Ever. He knew there'd be tough situations ahead. Times where they might doubt each other's feelings—never each other, though—might wonder what the future held.
She might have to arrest him. He might have to deal with the disappointment and disgust in her eyes as she did so.
But he knew that he needed this. As much as he needed to hunt Red John. It was no longer a choice. Lisbon was his. And he hers. Even if she didn't quite realize it yet.
Moving his hand from her thigh, he grasped her hand and pulled it to his lips. The gentle kiss was something that would be a whisper of a thought in her mind for a long time. When she was mad at him. When they were working. When she thought they wouldn't make it. When they did.
Even when she wasn't around him. As if he had branded her, she would feel his presence. It was scary, but it was irreversible. And she wondered if she would be able to handle it. At the end of all things.
But then she knew that she would be with him as well.
Even in absentia.