PATRICK JANE'S DAUGHTER

CHAPTER 13

The journey home felt as if it was taking forever. There was a heavy silence that hung in the air, like bitter waves of ice cold water. Greer couldn't find the strength to look at him. She was looking out the window, her body turned as far as she could in her seat. She was stewing. She knew she needed to tell him, she just couldn't find the courage.

Being with Danny and having that small moment of normal human interaction, that small piece of teenage solitude, it had made her so happy, but as soon as she realised what she was doing… she knew she couldn't bring another down with her.

Already she was ruining people's lives. Her mother, her friends- who she never saw anymore because she felt she needed to distance herself from human contact- Teresa… and soon, Patrick. She didn't like to obsess in self pity, she hated to feel as if she was more important than she is. Thinking that she is ruining people's lives, makes her feel like a spoilt child, like she is the most important person in the world. She knows she isn't. She knows eventually everyone would move on… god, she hopes to hell that they do. But she has to be realistic. She knows this is going to crush many people.

She knows this is going to draw Jane over the edge.

She wants to talk to Teresa… and she needs to talk to her alone.

Greer sighed. She also misses her mom. No matter how hard her mom had tried to stop her from coming, she knew it was only for her own good… and maybe for Patrick's own good too.

She could sense him watching her out of the corner of his eye. He knows something is up. He isn't stupid… far from it really. But she can't bring herself to justify any reason, or craft any lie. She's far too exhausted.

She just continued to stare out the window, a lively soul, trapped in a dying body.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

They arrived back at Lisbon's apartment just before dark. Jane stopped the car, but did not make a move to get out of the vehicle. With his seatbelt still on and his hands still clasped tightly to the steering wheel, he sat, staring out the front widow.

He knew something was up, but he couldn't bear to press the issue. He didn't want to push her too far. He had no idea how to handle teenage girls… let alone his teenage daughter. He could tell she was stressed. She would tell him in her own time. But he really wanted to be there for her at the same time. He needed to prove to her that he could be… he also needed to prove it to himself.

Greer sat nervously, fiddling with her seatbelt. After a few moments, she released herself and looked at Patrick for the first time since they got in the car. He had a blank expression on his face. He almost looked hurt. She could feel the tears threatening behind her lashes. She cleared her throat.

"Thank you for the day, Patrick…" She looked down at her hands, which were place on her lap. "I had fun."

With that she got out of the car and almost ran into the apartment. She could feel the tears coming at more force now. When she got to the front door, she didn't even hesitate to open it, she just stormed on in, past a confused Lisbon, who was folding up the laundry, and straight into the bathroom. She locked the door behind her before she let the tears escape properly. She grabbed a towel and buried her face in it, trying to mask her tears.

She heard a soft knock at the door.

"Greer?" It was Lisbon.

She stayed silent. She needed a moment to try and compose herself a little more. She wanted her mother.

The knock came again. Silence again. She heard Lisbon's footsteps move away and she pulled out her cell phone, dialling that all too familiar number.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

Lisbon had been folding up her laundry when she heard the car pull up. She smiled slightly to herself, knowing full well she was in for some entertaining stories. But when Greer came storming through the door, heading straight for the bathroom, Lisbon thought the worst. Had Greer told him?

She softly padded over to the bathroom door, hearing the muffled sobs. She knocked quietly.

"Greer?"

She didn't get an answer.

She tried knocking again.

Still no answer. Walking away from the bathroom door, Lisbon decided she would go and check on Jane. If she had told him, he would be a complete mess right now.

She made her way out of the apartment in search of Jane. She found him sitting in his car, seatbelt still on and hands clasped to the steering wheel. He wasn't upset. Well she wouldn't exactly say he was fine, but he wasn't crying or angry or anything. He was just staring blankly out the window. Was he in shock?

Lisbon made her way over to the car and opened his door. She knelt down beside him.

"Jane? Are you alright?"

He didn't respond.

She reached out and touched him lightly on the shoulder.

"Jane?" she said a little more forcefully.

This seemed to rouse him from whatever stupor he was in.

He looked at her, his eyes misted with confusion.

"I have no idea what I'm doing Lisbon."

Lisbon sighed. Whether it be from relief or remorse she wasn't sure. So she hadn't told him.

"What do you mean Jane?"

He sighed, his arms dropping to his lap with a small thud.

"One moment everything was fine. I introduced her to a couple of my friends, then she went on the Ferris Wheel with young Danny, next thing I know, we're sitting in the car and she won't look or talk to me. I don't even know what I did."

It was then Lisbon realised she must have liked this boy. Even worse, this boy must have liked her… and she didn't want to hurt anyone else.

"Jane, she's a teenager. Even worse she's a teenage girl… who you've only known for a week. Give yourself some credit. You not meant to know what you're doing."

Jane smiled weakly.

"Hey… I haven't had a chance to cook anything… would you mind terribly if I asked you to go and get some takeout?"

He nodded.

"Sure. What would you like?"

Lisbon thought for a moment.

"Ummm… anything greasy." She smiled wickedly, knowing full well that's all he would have been eating all day. He made a sickly face at her.

"Ok then. Greasy for you… salad for me. I have enough grease in my system to keep all of my bones squeak free for the rest of my life." He patted his belly. "I'll be back soon."

She stood up and shut his car door for him. As soon as he was out of sight, she retreated back into the apartment. She closed the front door softly, before making her way slowly back to the bathroom door. She could hear voices… well one voice. Greer must be on the phone. She narrowed the final gap to the door and listened.

"Mom, please come and get me."

Greer was crying.

"I want to come home. It's all getting so hard. He's just so nice… and all I'm going to do is hurt him even more." There was a pause as Tracy replied, and Lisbon was slightly frustrated that she couldn't hear what she was saying. "I know I brought this on myself! But it's not my fault I wanted to get to know him." Another pause. Lisbon felt kind of angry. By the sounds of things Tracy was lecturing Greer, when all the girl needed was a bit of support. She heard Greer sigh. Relief? "Thanks mom. I'll see you soon then?" Pause. "Ok, I love you too. Bye."

She heard Greer put the phone down and blow her nose.

Lisbon tentatively knocked on the door again.

"Greer? Greer, honey please open the door."

There was a shuffling from inside and a soft click, before a tear ridden Greer opened the door. Lisbon scooted into the bathroom. This seemed to have turned into their meeting place.

She took her usual spot, sitting with her back up against the tub. It wasn't long before Greer joined her.

"Patrick?"

"He went to get dinner."

Greer nodded sadly.

"It was a great day. I had so much fun with him. I've ruined everything. Haven't I?"

"No Greer. He's just a little confused. He can sense something is wrong, but he doesn't know what. He wants to be there for you."

"I know. I just don't know how to tell him."

"The right words will come to you. But Greer. I've told you so many times, it's only going to get harder. The longer you wait."

Greer stayed silent. She already knew this.

"Greer, I heard you talking… is your mom coming to get you?"

"Yes." Greer whispered.

"But Jane..?"

"I will tell him. But I think I need my mom to be there."

"Will you leave? After you tell him."

"I had my first kiss today." Greer said, almost disregarding the subject. She didn't want to talk about this. She didn't know what was going to happen over the next few days. She was staring straight ahead, eyes stilled in memory.

"Oh." Was all Lisbon could respond with.

"It was wonderful." Greer sighed. "Teresa? Can I ask you a question?"

Lisbon shifted, leaning her head against the side of the tub.

"Of course, Greer."

"What's it like to fall in love?"

This took Lisbon by slight surprise. She closed her eyes, answering without thinking.

"It's like being hit on the head with a concrete block."

Lisbon opened her eyes, realising what she had said. Greer was staring at her, confused.

"But… I thought falling in love was meant to be wonderful? Magical…"

"Sometimes it is… other times. It's not."

Greer looked at her, knowing.

"I take this is from experience?"

"It's like, you look at this person, and they're the same, and yet… they're completely different. And you just can't figure out what's different about them. Then it hits you, and your entire world changes. Suddenly, they're all you see, all you can think about. You would change your entire world for them."

Greer was looking at her expectantly.

"Who have you fallen in love with Teresa?"

The spell Lisbon was under seemed to have broken and she snapped back to reality.

"Oh… that was a long time ago…"

"Whatever you say Teresa."

Lisbon was suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

"Let's get out of this bathroom. Jane will be home any moment." Lisbon stood up and helped Greer to her feet. They walked out into the apartment, just as they heard the car pull up. Greer sat on the couch and Lisbon went back to folding her laundry.

Jane walked in the door moments later, nursing a bag of Thai for the girls and as promised, a salad for him. Greer got up from the couch and went to help him serve the meal. She grabbed some plates out of the kitchen and placed them on the table. She turned around to see that he was staring at her. She looked at him apologetically and he nodded in understanding.

Lisbon came over then and they all sat down to eat. Jane pulled out his salad and Greer made a face.

"What?" Jane asked mid-mouthful, noticing her questioning stare.

"Really? A salad?"

"What? I'm getting old. My body can't handle too much grease. Makes me sick for days."

"Ok, Patrick. Whatever you say." Greer grinned at him. Lisbon just shook her head. They were as bad as each other.

They finished the rest of their meal with idle chatter, Jane and Greer telling Lisbon about how Boris had taken Greer's cell phone and how Greer had taken his wallet in retaliation. Lisbon laughed at the appropriate times and commented when necessary, but her heart wasn't really in it. She couldn't stop thinking about Greer's question… what's it like to fall in love.

Lisbon couldn't help but realise she had been hiding the truth… even from herself. She seemed to have only just figured out that she was, indeed in love, and the thought scared her to hell. She had no idea what to make of it. He was there for her whenever she needed him, and her vice-versa.

She sat there, trying to disregard the thought entirely. But seeing him sitting across the table from her, occasionally looking at her and smiling, that smile he seemed to save just for her… she couldn't help but feel a sense of self pride. She loved Patrick Jane. She didn't even know if the feelings were romantic. All she knew was she cared deeply for the man, and she knew she would do anything for him.

The next few months were going to be hell for him, and she knew in her heart that she was going to do everything in her being, to make him know that he isn't alone in this world. She will be there for him, she would take it as far as he would let her. She just prayed to god that he was going to forgive her for keeping this from him. She figured he would. It was Greer's wish, and he knew she was loyal. But she couldn't get rid of the guilt that had settled in her chest, things were going to change around here.

Lisbon wasn't sure if Jane was going to sought comfort or if he was going to hide away and keep all of his grief and pain to himself. It wouldn't be out of character. But they had grown so much closer over the last week. Eight years ago, he didn't have anyone to help him, he had to find it through professional help, this time would be different. She would be there when he found out.

"Lisbon? Lisssboon…"

She was brought out of her thoughts by Jane.

"Sorry what?"

He chuckled lightly.

"I was just wondering if you wanted desert? I bought cheesecake." He smiled his charming smile at her. She all but melted.

"Please."

She felt dizzy and she couldn't breathe properly. She couldn't take her eyes off of him. Yup, definitely a concrete block.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

Lisbon got to the CBI the next morning before Jane or Geer had even thought about getting up. Jane had stayed at Lisbon's again, taking refuge on a stretcher bed in the lounge. She took the opportunity to complete the paperwork that was once again, piling up on her desk. She gave up after about half an hour. Her brain just couldn't concentrate. She kept remembering moments she had shared with Jane.

The time they danced together at the reunion. It was an innocent gesture, as he knew she loved the song, and yet, when she thought about it now, she couldn't help but remember him pulling her closer, and when she leant her head against his shoulder, he had rested his chin against the top of her head.

Or the time he had bought her strawberries as an apology. He had hugged her that day. The thought sent small shivers down her spine. How is it she had only just figured out how deep her affections ran for this man now? Then again, it's probably a good thing. It would have made life so much more complicated.

An hour or so, and many more memories later, said man and Greer walked into the CBI, they were the last to arrive, as the rest of the team had shown up. She felt a rush of excitement flowing through her. But as they came closer, the look on Jane's face, wasn't one of joy… he looked angry, no… he looked pissed off. Lisbon looked through her office window and saw Jane walking towards her, a nearly empty bottle of scotch in his hand. He stormed into her office, Greer hot on his heel.

"You've been drinking." He almost yelled. He was furious.

"Jane…"

"This was a full bottle of scotch Thursday night! And now, only four days later, its nearly empty! You told me you were going to stop!" His face was a mask of fury. Greer was standing in the doorway, looking frightened.

"Jane… please.. let me expl…"

"No! You don't get to talk. Not right now. I would have understood a couple of drinks… but you've been bingeing Lisbon! With my daughter in the house!" he was yelling now. Lisbon felt desperate. There was no way she could explain herself without letting Jane know of Greer's secret. She caught Greer's eye and they shared a look of desperation. "You weren't even sick the other day were you? Stomach bug? No! You were fucking hung-over!"

"Patrick!" It was Greer. She looked mortified at his language and the way he was treating Teresa. It was her fault she had drunk in the first place. She had seen the way they had been looking at each other last night. She had seen the way they acted around each other. She knew there was more than just friendship going on there, and now because of her, he was messing it up.

Jane turned to look at Greer.

"Please wait outside." He said a little quieter.

"No. You can't speak to her like that!"

"Outside. Now."

Greer looked at him, feeling hurt, before she directed her gaze at Lisbon. Lisbon could see the desperation on her face. She left the office and went over to Grace, who had heard the entire fight. They heard Jane slam the door and the sound of voices rose up through the bullpen.

"How could you Lisbon? With my daughter in the house!"

"Jane! You have no idea!" Lisbon was yelling too now. "If it wasn't for me your daughter would be sleeping in a motel room!"

"Yeah! And if it wasn't for you, I would have been able to spend more time with her! You arrested her because you got jealous!"

"You are so pig-headed! Every time anyone even tries to get close to you, you push them away!"

"Because every time anyone gets close to me… they end up dying!"

Lisbon collapsed onto her chair in defeat. He had hit home. He had no idea how right he was.

"Lisbon! Jane!" It was Grace. "Get out here! Greer just fainted!"

Lisbon and Jane looked at each other. They both looked scared. Lisbon felt instant dread. The girl wasn't meant to work herself up. They ran out of the office to find Greer sprawled out in a heap in front of Grace's desk.

"What happened?" Jane demanded as soon as he reached her. He knelt down beside her.

"She got all worked up over you two fighting. It made all of us nervous… but then she just went really white and fell to the floor."

"Call 911." Lisbon ordered, taking her place next to Jane.

"Why? She only passed out."

"Trust me on this." Lisbon said. Jane looked at her and a wash of realisation passed over his face. He knew she knew something he didn't.

"Lisbon… what's going on?"



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