Author: Lothiriel84 PM
"You're a coward", he told himself. It could be over by now. All it took was to move forward just a few inches. Yeah, the fall would probably be unpleasant. And it would hurt. Like hell. But then, it would be over. - Rated T for talk on suicideRated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Patrick J. & Teresa L. - Words: 1,171 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 2 - Published: 01-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7778478
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Author's note: This story takes place a few time after the third season finale. It implies that the man Jane shot and killed was actually Red John, and that Jane has been set free after his trial.
It's the first time I write a story which really follows the events of the show (that of course means that it's not related to my other stories), and it turns out to be quite dark for my standards. Like the show itself, alas.
Hope you enjoy it.
He stooped and picked up a beautifully colored seashell. Running his thumb on its smooth surface, he was struck by a sudden thought.
He was just like it. An empty shell washed up on the shore. Devoid of meaning and purpose.
Slowly he climbed the narrow path that led to the top of the cliff – his fingers still closed around the little seashell. He breathed deeply, then took a few steps towards the cliff edge.
Far below, the waves were crashing against the rocks. Unceasingly. It felt like the ocean was calling him. Offering him what he longed for.
He had never given much thought to what would happen after Red John. His mind usually never went past the day of his vengeance. Well, he had accomplished his revenge now.
Red John was dead. He had shot him – three times. In his chest.
Yet he had felt nothing. No relief, no sense of closure. No remorse, either.
His pain and guilt were still there. He had finally avenged his family's death, yet he felt that this wasn't enough to earn their forgiveness. He would never be forgiven.
He didn't deserve forgiveness.
He surely couldn't forgive himself, anyway.
Through all of those years, he had lived on a single purpose. Killing the man that had killed his family. And now that he had, he finally understood that he was wrong.
Red John wasn't the only one that deserved punishment for what he had done.
He took another step, standing right on the edge of the cliff.
You're a coward, he told himself. It could be over by now. All it took was to move forward just a few inches. Yeah, the fall would probably be unpleasant. And it would hurt. Like hell.
But then, it would be over.
Red John did it. He had realized that just a few weeks ago. The serial killer didn't show up at that mall just in order to taunt him. That was just a little added benefit, his last bit of fun before leaving the stage.
Red John had wanted to be killed. By him, his only worthy opponent. An infinitely more artistic form of suicide, for a man who had always wanted to be a legend.
He had no idea why, but that was it. Maybe even Red John had grown tired of it all. It's always hard to live up to the legend you create around yourself, after all.
Well, he was tired too. He had destroyed too many things. He couldn't bear any more of it.
He was far beyond redemption. The world would be only too glad to get rid of him.
Closing his eyes, he steeled himself to jump.
He briefly considered if he should put on a show of that being an accident. Better for the team, after all. He didn't want to burden them with guilt or regret.
He remembered only too well the way they had reacted to Grace's so-called accident.
His eyes popped open. Lisbon would know. And that would positively kill her.
No matter if he pretended to trip and fall off a cliff, or he chose to rush carelessly into danger.
Lisbon would see right through him. Like she did with Grace.
Poor little Grace. Another casualty of the Red John game. Another addition to his already heavy burden of guilt.
For he should have seen through Craig O'Laughlin long before. If he had had, Grace wouldn't be in an hospital bed right now, recovering after a suicide attempt. With a shattered Rigsby by her side.
He had never seen Lisbon lose her self-control like she did when she heard the news.
She thought it was her fault, of course. She always blamed herself, no matter if she actually could or couldn't have done something about it.
She hadn't been fooled for a moment by Grace's weak explanation – that she took too many pills because she wasn't able to sleep.
Of course she wasn't able to sleep. The only thing was that she actually meant to sleep forever.
The same thought had crossed his mind more than once, actually.
No more nightmares, no more pain. Just darkness. Oblivion. Self-destruction.
No, he couldn't. Couldn't do that to Lisbon.
He owed her that, at the very least.
He had to try and live on. For her. For the rest of the team.
Maybe he could help Grace mend a little – assuring that she went back into Rigsby's safe arms. He could talk Bertram into allowing them. Yes, if he used the proper leverage…
He should find a way to make Lisbon understand that what happened wasn't her fault at all. That she had done all that she could in order to keep them safe. It was life that was unfair, that was all.
He… perhaps he could even support her in her self-appointed mission. That of saving all the people around her. She always cared for her team, and did her best to protect them – while she refused to admit that she herself could need care and protection from time to time.
Somehow, he had to return the favor.
The thought nearly made him laugh. What kind of comfort could he offer, a damaged man like he was?
Well… at least he should try. Maybe that could be his new purpose.
Maybe that might even help him fix his broken soul.
"Jane! I've been looking for you for the last twenty minutes! Why didn't you tell me where you were going?"
Of course she was scared – couldn't help it, after what had happened with Grace. She probably felt that she ought never let any member of the team out of her sight from now on.
Dear, wonderful Lisbon.
On an impulse, he threw his arms around her and hugged her tightly. That took her unawares, yet after a moment she hugged him back. Like she needed that too.
Maybe she did. Maybe they could really help each other.
She had seen him through the misery of all these years. She had stuck with him through thick and thin. She had saved his life a number of times – even a few minutes ago, though he surely wasn't going to let her know that.
He could trust her to give him a new reason for living.