Lying in Jane's arms with his head pillowed against his slightly rough cheek, Cho could be forgiven for not having a care in the world. Relaxed and sated, limbs loose after bone-melting sex, he was surprised he could think at all. He reached up and grasped one blond curl between his thumb and forefinger, feeling the almost silky texture, and watching as a smile curved Jane's lips. These were the moments he lived for, with that incredible mind quietened, and seeing the pleasure-softened light in his blue eyes, eyelids heavy, almost asleep.
Jane's fingers trailed over Cho's skin, the gentle touch almost raising goosebumps, almost tickling... perfection.
He must have made the slightest movement, tensing muscle, as the fingers stopped.
"Don't," he ordered softly.
Jane understood, immediately resuming the gentle strokes that made Cho feel wanted, loved. This time he arched meaningfully into the next caress before tightening his hold on Jane just a little more, sighing happily. Above him Jane chuckled softly, and Cho didn't have to imagine the bright smile because he saw it aimed at him daily. This thing between them, it was all new and yet he felt as if he had been lying in Jane's arms for years. He didn't believe anyone knew about them, not Rigsby or Van Pelt, and not Lisbon. Eventually either he or Jane would slip up and someone would figure it out but for now he wanted Jane all to himself.
He wasn't certain when he fell asleep but Cho awoke to find a new day trying to push its way through the small chinks in his bedroom curtain. He'd moved in the night, lying on his side facing Jane, and he took a moment to admire the handsome face, frown lines smoothed away in sleep. The slightest curl of a smile told him Jane was now awake too, some sixth sense for being watched Cho guessed. Jane reached for him and they kissed closed mouthed as they came together, heat dancing along his skin, through his blood as Jane reached between them to take both their morning erections in hand, bringing them over the edge as Cho panted hard against Jane's slightly perspiring shoulder.
When he came back to himself, he noticed Jane's nose was slightly wrinkled in distaste. The man was so finicky, like a cat.
"Shower?" Cho asked, and was rewarded with a blinding smile, both of them stumbling out of bed to sluice away the evidence of passion before they dressed and headed into work separately.
Inside the interview room Cho looked up and frowned imperceptibly as the witness latched onto Jane with what she thought was a dazzling smile, preening and simpering. Of course Jane loved the attention but Cho knew he was simply playing along with no intention of seeing it go any further. Not quite harmless flirting because Cho felt a little on edge, a little jealous from seeing her do what he dare not do openly here in the CBI office. Jane simpered with her, offering coy, suggestive glances and that winning smile that almost reached his eyes, before leaning in to her across the table and speaking with a lowered, conspiratorial tone.
"And he had the nerve to pick your award-winning roses from your garden to give to that hussy."
"Exactly!" she replied. "And I made sure he won't be doing that again," she smiled maliciously, sharing her dark secret.
He should have known Jane had an ulterior motive, using himself as a distraction to trick her into revealing the truth. It was always scary to watch how the killer transformed from sweet and innocent to hard and malevolent once they realized they had given themselves away, and she was no different, slashing out with her long fingernails and missing Jane's face by inches as he ducked back. Cho rounded the table and held onto her as Jane opened the interview door and called for a little help.
After charging her with the murder of her next door neighbor, Cho sank down into his desk chair. Rigsby and Van Pelt were talking about the latest ruse on Jane's part as they walked past him.
"I knew he was playing her," Van Pelt stated. "He hasn't been interested in women in a long time, probably sees it as cheating on his wife's memory."
Cho didn't hear the rest of the conversation as they had moved off out of earshot by then towards the break area but it set his mind to thinking about his relationship with Jane. He knew he felt more for Jane than just an easy hook-up, but now he wondered if Jane only saw him that way, sex with no strings attached, no emotional baggage. Maybe Jane thought it didn't count as cheating or disrespecting his wife's memory if he was having sex with another guy... with him. Cho hadn't expected that thought to hurt as much as it did. He shrugged it off because wallowing in self-pity would only sour what he did have with Jane.
Two weeks later he didn't expect to wake up in a dank cellar chained to pipe on a wall by his own handcuffs. His head hurt and he hissed when his fingers found the edge of an open wound and the stickiness of blood just behind his right ear, biting back a cry when he moved and felt a couple of his ribs protest. His vision swam in and out of focus in the dim light seeping through the cobwebs and dust of a single window high up on the opposite wall. He turned his head to check out more of his prison and felt the nausea rise, swallowing slowly and deliberately as he held himself perfectly still. Cho groaned when he opened his eyes and noticed the tear in his jacket sleeve and the blood and dirt caked into his pants. Another suit ruined.
His hearing seemed to be the last of his senses to come back, slowly becoming aware of a familiar voice, small and tinny, as if coming from a distance. He turned towards the sound and spotted his cellphone lying face-down on the ground a few feet away. It took careful maneuvering to reach it with his feet and drag it back to within reach of his handcuffed hands, and not lose his last meal in the process.
"Cho! Tell me where you are?"
"I don't... I don't know."
"Look around and describe what you see. What is the floor made of? The walls."
He groaned and moved his head a fraction, trying to look around the gloomy, damp room. The fingers on his free hand scratched against the ground, finding cement beneath his fingertips.
"Cement. Old Filing cabinets. Cobwebs everywhere."
"Yeah..." he frowned. "There's something ticking. Clock... No, a timer."
He could see the hour hand pointing straight up and the minute hand almost on top of it. The third hand was sweeping round the face, with each tick marking off a passing second. Cho blinked and the image came back into focus, seeing bags of fertilizer and wires as the final seconds were ticking off.
Fourteen. Ten. Seven.
"Patrick. I love you," he stated like any other fact, stoically and in all seriousness, keeping his eyes open as the second hand swept onto the other two hands. Something sparked, but otherwise nothing happened. The ticking had stopped but the basement was still there, wavering in and out of focus.
He could hear the panic in Jane's voice.
"Cho, it's Lisbon. We're right outside but we'll have to wait for the bomb... Damn it, Jane!"
Cho heard the door being forced open, spilling more light into the dingy basement. Something blocked it out for a moment before he felt someone drop down beside him, opening his eyes to see curls of golden blond hair caught by the light from the doorway. Cho had no idea where the key to his cuffs might be but that didn't seem to hinder Jane at all. The handcuffs clattered to the ground and he grunted in pain as Jane hauled him to his feet, stumbling them both back towards the door and up a narrow flight of stairs. Rigsby grabbed his other side and together the three of them moved faster, clearing the building, and were about twenty feet away when he heard and felt the blast behind them, throwing all three of them off their feet. Cho fell into darkness, surrounded by the familiar scent of the man he loved.
He awoke in a hospital room. The light had been dialed down for night time but Cho knew he was not alone, opening his eyes a fraction to catch sight of Jane sleeping in the chair by his bed. Cho reached for the closest hand, and Jane started on the lightest touch, blinking away sleep before looking straight at him.
"I outed us... and I understand if you don't want-."
Jane kissed him gently. "You can't replace Annie... but she can't replace you either."
It was the closest he might ever get to a declaration of love. Jane smiled brightly, tightening his hold on Cho's hand, and Cho knew this smile had reached both their eyes.