A few weeks after they began their physical relationship, they argued about whose control issues were deeper. He was perfectly happy being surrounded by chaos so long as he was the one who caused it. She wanted to keep events around her predictable and calm, so far as she was able; yet when things did get chaotic she was much better at letting go - do whatever she could to improve the situation and pray for the best while understanding through and through that there was only so much she could do.
When they fell into bed together, he took the lead. Whenever she started to assert herself, he found subtle ways of redirecting her. She started to get the feeling that what he wanted most was unconditional surrender. Oh, he was generous enough to bring her off before he took his pleasure, but he was simply never going to allow her the privilege of that sense of power, glowing, burning power of taking the reins and driving him over the edge. The last time she had been with a man so bent on dominance, more than a decade ago, she found herself on the receiving end of epithets dangerously close to those her drunken father had slung at her. Breaking it off with the guy immediately, she then did a background check on him. Noting several assault charges, she felt well rid of him, thankful that she had seen the signs before he had a chance to put violent hands on her. Faced with the choice of paranoid investigations of her dates or keeping things short and sweet, for the next decade she fell into a pattern of one night stands.
Several years of working closely with Jane gave her confidence that he was unlikely to lift a hand in anger to her. So she risked the relationship with him. And had to challenge him over his determined dominance in the bedroom.
He was not about to admit out loud she was right. But he was determined to give her what she wanted. Very professional with each other at work, strained silence after hours for several days - so last Friday night he lifted her handcuffs before leaving the office. He had good reason to believe she would be leaving soon as well. He picked the lock to get into her apartment. Stripping off his clothes, he lay down in her bed.
Intending to cuff himself to the headboard as soon as he heard her come in, he waited. The wait turned out to be longer than he expected, so he closed his eyes.
The next thing he knew, Lisbon was shaking his shoulder and rather sternly calling his name.
"You really think I'm going to let you use my own handcuffs on me?"
"They're for me, woman. If I hadn't fallen asleep, I would have put them on when I heard you come in."
"For the record, you breaking into my apartment and deciding on a little beginner's bondage without asking if I like it or want it doesn't do away with your control issues as effectively as you might think."
"True, O Queen. They will still be there, waiting for us. But you should find it a refreshing change of pace."
"What's your safe word?"
"'Harder' is the worst safe word I've ever heard of."
"Really? How many safe words have you been privy to?"
"Counting 'apples' from that tv show with the detective who has a mystery writer following her around like a love-sick puppy, two."
"Why do you even watch that show?"
"The guy who plays the writer is ruggedly handsome."
"And here I thought you derived the most enjoyment out of making fun of the detective running around in high heels."
"Do you really want to do this?" she asked as she picked up the cuffs from her bed.
"Yes, Teresa. I want to be shackled to your bed, completely at your mercy."
"Just so you know, I will never go for restraints myself."
"I don't expect you to."
"So I can put these on you, and do whatever I want?"
"That's the idea."
She clicked one over a wrist, threaded the chain through the headboard and clicked the other cuff over the other wrist. Then she turned away from the bed and walked out of the room without looking back.
"Wait, Teresa - you aren't supposed to walk away." He was slightly chilled already and wanted her warmth.
"Everything is under my control, now. Including timing. You will wait, and wait patiently, just as long as I decide is right for you," she said as she started down the stairs.
Lisbon tried to go about her evening as she had planned - leisurely dinner of canned soup and toast, snuggled up on her couch catching up on whatever shows had accumulated on her dvr. However, she could not get him out of her mind. So she did not make it through an entire episode of "How I Met Your Mother". The long hot bath turned into an abbreviated shower.
Even so, Jane was more than impatient when she finally got back to him. Impatient, cold, and slightly nervous.
In fact, it was the nerves that were the undoing of the whole plan. Whatever beginnings of arousal he had had thinking of the tantalizing ways she would touch him had died in the chill of the evening. At his sheepish request, she released him and they snuggled under warm blankets until sleep overcame them.