Dropping Golden Eaves

By Diane


EMAIL: dianekateri@beneath-the-surface.net

RATING: Suitable for teens

SUMMARY: '"Well where's the blackmail material in that?" he asked, finally dragging his gaze to her, all wide-eyed and fake innocence.' Jane, Lisbon, his couch, and eavesdropping.

****

Evening was drawing in when Lisbon looked up from her computer screen, frustrated, and rubbed the sore muscles at the base of her neck. "We should talk to the wife again," she sighed, nodding distractedly to Wiley when she noticed him looking her way. "I know there's not a single piece of evidence linking her to the crime, but I think she did it. There was something off about that whole interview."

"Mm, I agree."

Wincing when she hit a particularly painful spot, she turned in her chair and stared at Jane in surprise. "You do?"

"Oh, absolutely." He glanced her way before placing his empty teacup and saucer on the table beside his couch. Crossing one leg over the other, he relaxed into the cushions. "She's a very convincing liar, though. I'm impressed that you picked up on it."

He grinned cheekily and Lisbon rolled her eyes. "Gee, thanks," she muttered.

He chuckled, but his grin softened when he added sincerely, "I mean it. You've become very good at reading people, Lisbon."

"I didn't notice you were holding something back," she grimaced. "Didn't you think we'd find that little piece of information useful?" Annoyance and more than a little sarcasm laced her voice, but there was no real heat behind it, and he waved away her concern.

"I was going to mention it soon. I just had to work out a few more details first." A phone rang in the background and he glanced across the room.

"You have a plan?" she asked, half hopeful, half wary. Jane's plans were... unpredictable.

"Eh, half of one," he replied, distracted. "I'm working on the rest. But don't worry, my dear, you'll have her in custody before the end of the work day tomorrow."

Lisbon didn't doubt him. It was the manner in which he'd go about it that she wasn't too sure about. Already she could feel herself mentally preparing for whatever crazy con he'd dream up.

However, worrying about Jane's unorthodox and occasionally illegal schemes was Abbott's problem now, and one she would prefer to forget about until tomorrow. At the moment she was tired and weary, and aching from hours hunched over her desk, and she wanted nothing more than to go home, grab a quick bite to eat, and finish her day the way it had started.

The last twelve hours had been long and tedious, and they'd made depressingly little progress; every possible lead had ended in one dead end after the other. As much as she hated to admit it, it was time to step back and take a much needed break.

Decided, Lisbon reached for her mouse and closed down her computer with a few deft clicks. After a brief look in Jane's direction, she began to tidy the paperwork scattered across her desk.

"Okay," she began. "We'll start fresh in the morning. Maybe by then the lab will have something we can use."

"Mm."

Jane's mumbled response was not what she'd expected; he'd been trying to wheedle and entice her to leave for the last hour at least. Instantly suspicious, she closed the last of the folders, added it to the already substantial pile now stacked neatly on her desk, and turned to give him her full attention.

His mind had obviously wandered elsewhere. Rather than jumping up to usher her towards the elevator before something could change her mind, he was still sitting in the corner of his couch, staring across the room.

Curious, she followed his gaze, but couldn't see a single thing that would have piqued his interest. Cho was still at his computer, meticulously going through the last of the background checks, a few agents working another case were scattered around the room, and Wiley was standing by his desk, talking to one of the newer members of their team.

There was nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

But Lisbon knew better than to take what she saw at face value; instinct and over ten years' experience of Jane told her that. With nothing to suggest that he was planning on causing trouble any time soon, though, she turned back to him and slowly—and somewhat cautiously—allowed herself to relax.

She watched him closely as she did, a knowing, sidelong look filled with amused affection, and not for the first time wondered when traits that had once driven her to distraction—and occasionally still did—had become more endearing instead.

She chuckled quietly and shook her head. Whatever the answer she was a lost cause, but there wasn't a single part of her that was even a little repentant.

Still smiling, her eyes trailed over him slowly. His hair was still slightly tussled from his late afternoon nap, and his suit just a little rumpled, but he looked rested and refreshed and immensely distracting. For a moment he drove all thoughts of work from her mind, but when she realised what was happening—and where—she started and flushed and glanced guiltily around.

There wasn't any doubt in her mind now that she should most definitely be leaving.

Standing abruptly, she moved towards him, the barest hint of pink still staining her cheeks. When she caught him absently spinning the band on his left ring finger, an old habit he'd recently taken to again, she smiled softly.

"Hey!" she said quietly, coming to a stop in front of him. "Are you...?"

Her words came to an abrupt halt when he suddenly leaned to the side and looked around her, then without warning, reached out, wrapped his fingers around her wrist, and tugged gently. Taken off guard she tumbled forward with a startled gasp before landing with a soft thud next to him. Her eyes darted around the room, wide with shock, as she scrambled to right herself and put what she considered a more professional distance between them.

Jane had no intention of letting her go, though, and held on with a firm but gentle grip.

"Jane," she hissed. "What the he...?"

"Hush," he interrupted.

Lisbon glared at him, but he was pretending to be annoyingly oblivious as he continued to stare across the room. For the second time in a few short minutes she followed his gaze, eyes narrowed, and this time she found exactly what had captured his attention: Wiley and their newest, female agent.

It was then, after a double take, that realisation dawned.

"Are you reading their lips?" she asked incredulously.

Jane didn't even hesitate. "Well how else am I going to find out what they're saying?"

"It's a private conversation, Jane," she shot back. "You're not supposed to know."

"Well where's the blackmail material in that?" he asked, finally dragging his gaze to her, all wide-eyed and fake innocence.

Her mouth dropped open before she snapped it shut.

"And anyway," he continued. "Since they're talking about us, I think we're entitled to know what they're saying."

The words on the tip of her tongue died instantly. "They're talking about us?" Her voice dropped a level and she forgot all about professional distance. She leaned closer, unconsciously pressing their bodies together from shoulder to knee, until not even a breath of air could have slipped between them. "What are they saying?"

Jane hesitated. "Well now, I don't know if I should say. It is a private conversation after all."

Lisbon elbowed him in the side none too gently, causing him to utter something between a chuckle and a groan. "Ouch, woman. There's no need to get violent."

Raised eyebrows were her only response—and just as she'd known—all the prompting Jane needed. He made a show of scanning the room before ducking closer, and when he started to speak his voice was pitched in such a way that never failed to make her shiver.

"Our zealous new agent over there is just a little curious about us," he murmured easily. "Apparently she finds it a little odd that you still call me Jane and..." He lowered his voice even further. "Well, she was wondering if that's what you call me in, uh..." He shrugged one shoulder and gestured vaguely. "You know, every situation."

He waggled his eyebrows when their eyes met again.

For a long moment, Lisbon simply stared at him, confused. "What is that supposed to...?" And then she jerked away, desperately hoping she'd misunderstood. "You don't mean...?"

Of their own volition her eyes shot to where the two younger agents still stood. Her gaze caught theirs, and when they glanced away quickly, her cheeks flamed with mortification.

Embarrassment was nothing new to her; she'd almost become accustomed to it after so many years with Jane. But this... Her eyes flew shut, and she unconsciously slid a little lower on Jane's couch. "Please tell me you're joking," she pleaded, before finally finding the courage to face him. But there wasn't any need for him to say anything: his mile wide smile and sparkling eyes were all the answer she needed.

"Dammit, Jane," she scolded, as her free hand shot out and rapped him across the chest.

As close as they were, she felt as well as heard his deep chuckle. "You look beautiful in red, darling Teresa," he murmured huskily.

The low rumble of his words and his breath fluttering across her cheek and ear caused another shiver to ripple through her. And she knew Jane felt it, too. The hand still gently grasping hers tightened briefly, and though she sensed his reluctance, he pulled back, trailing his fingers across her skin with slow, deliberate strokes.

Her pulse skittered beneath his touch, and she only just managed to keep her eyes from drifting shut, but even distracted it didn't escape her notice that she wasn't the only one his soft touch and teasing words had affected. Jane needed the moment of silence that followed as much as she did, and several more still before he cleared his throat and attempted to speak.

"Actually," he continued when he could, "Wiley is trying to decide how he should address you now. He's not sure if you've gone the more traditional route and taken my name or—for a variety of reasons he has apparently considered thoroughly—if you've decided to keep your own. Of course, it then occurred to him that you may have decided to hyphenate instead." He turned back to her, grinning widely once again. "Our young analyst is in quite the quandary."

Still pressed close to him on the couch, enjoying his enthusiasm and some still active butterflies, Lisbon looked up at him, lips quirked, unable to hide her own amusement any longer. "So," she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her. "Has he come to a decision?"

Jane shook his head. "Not quite yet. However, I predict he'll take the practical route. Very soon he'll wonder if having two Janes in the same office might be a little confusing. So, Mrs Jane," he teased with obvious delight, "Lisbon you shall remain unless you specifically tell him otherwise."

The smile that spread across Lisbon's face was instantaneous. It was wide and bright and stunningly so, and quickly transformed the look of pleasure and satisfaction Jane wore to something entirely more intimate.

Lisbon's breath hitched the moment she saw it.

Even knowing that anyone could be watching, she found she couldn't look away. And he seemed to be having just as much trouble dragging his gaze from her. She licked suddenly dry lips, and when Jane's look rapidly grew more heated, she swallowed hard.

"Come on." When she finally spoke, the faintest hint of a tremor laced her voice. "Let's go home."

The three little words had Jane moving in an instant, and when he stood before her, hand stretched out in invitation, Lisbon didn't hesitate.

This was the immediate and eager response she'd expected from him.

Within moments of placing her hand in his she was being pulled to her feet. His eyes, still dark and intense, didn't leave hers once, and by the time she stood before him, toe-to-toe, hand still grasped in his, the air around them fairly crackled with tension.

"Come on," she repeated quietly.

With difficulty, she finally managed to pull her eyes from him, and squeezed his hand before reluctantly letting go. She sorely missed his touch the moment it was gone. But Jane, unwilling to relinquish all contact, immediately settled a hand on the small of her back; it remained there—warm and comforting and full of promise—as she retrieved her bag and keys from her desk drawer, as they walked in silence towards the elevator for the final time that day.

The doors opened as soon as they approached, and they moved inside after another agent stepped out. Lisbon was more than a little grateful when nobody else joined them.

Especially when Jane slipped behind her and stood a little closer than was entirely appropriate.

The moment the doors slid shut the little distance he'd left between them disappeared. The palm on her back dropped away, and she felt the weight of both hands settle on her shoulders. "Sore?" he asked softly.

Because of course he had noticed.

Without waiting for an answer, he smoothly swept her hair over one shoulder and set to work, gently rubbing and pressing in all the right places, expertly working out the tension and knots that had plagued her for the last few hours.

Instead of answering, Lisbon merely groaned in response.

She wanted to close her eyes and get lost in his touch, but as tempting as that was she forced herself to stay focussed on the red digits ahead. It didn't stop her breathing from slowing and deepening, though, or keep her from shifting just so to give him better access. For the first time in hours she let herself truly relax, and soon her sighs of relief and pleasure drifted through the small space as she leaned even further into his touch.

With no small amount of regret she watched the numbers drop steadily lower. She savoured every caress, every stroke, every brush of his fingers while she could, but far too soon their level approached. As it did, Jane's nimble fingers kneaded just the right amount of deeper, and she didn't even try to bite back the moan his last, deep massage provoked.

When he pulled back she told herself it was only right, that it was exactly what she wanted, but it didn't stop the rush of disappointment she felt as his hands trailed down her back and eventually fell away.

But Lisbon smiled anyway. She was all too aware the barely there, meandering touch was meant to drive her a little crazy. She silently promised herself she would make sure she fully repaid him later.

With that delicious thought in mind she moved to step forward. But the sudden return of Jane's hands, this time at her waist, stopped her immediately. He tugged gently until she was flush against him, his body heat mingling with her own, and almost before she realised it his arms had wrapped her securely in his embrace, holding her as his mouth hovered tantalisingly close to her ear.

"I love you," he murmured.

Her heart stuttered at the now familiar words falling from his lips, and constricted when he bent and pressed a gentle kiss to the slope of her neck. Even through the thin material of her shirt his breath was warm, his lips soft.

But before she could reply in kind the doors began to slide open.

"Now," he whispered as he pulled away. "Why don't we see which name slips from your lips tonight?"

The End

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