The Final Mile

Twelve years – a long suffering – but Jane is exactly the kind of man who would ruin her life before resurfacing two years later and instantaneously change her life without asking for permission. He is trying to fix things, she could admit this now, but that does not mean she would let him walk all over her again. She has at last learned from her mistakes, she likes to think, she has at last learned to be cautious. She couldn't be the only one to care again.

Three months – a whirlwind romance – but Marcus Pike is already ready to give up a promotion for her, ready to be there for her when she needs him, ready to sweep her off her feet and start a life with her. He is like the prince in shining armor in one of those sappy romance novels she reads on lonely rainy nights: honest, considerate, dependable, and everything Jane isn't.

After so many years of limbo, doesn't she deserve some stability? Doesn't she deserve a fresh new start without complication, a relationship that doesn't end with being left all alone (figuratively and literally) on the side of the road? The choice should be easy, obvious even.

It should be, but it isn't.

Her brain knows what's good for her, but her heart… well her heart wants what her heart wants.

Something feels off, like everything has shifted just two inches to the right. Marcus Pike is talking animatedly with Lisbon, and he could tell right away he is taken with her. There had been men looking at Lisbon like this before, so what's different? Right, because this time Lisbon is responding back, not quite as passionately, perhaps, but with enthusiasm. This is the first time in their long history she has sidelined him for another man.

Maybe it's about time. She deserves a good, reliable man like Marcus Pike. A little boring, perhaps, but she will be happy enough. No lies, no complications. Any decent human being should be happy for her. He should be happy for her. But he isn't.

Lisbon is mere meters away, but somehow the distance between them seems greater than when they were miles apart. It makes him feel uncomfortable and agitated and just a little bit small.

He wants to stride over, place his hand on her shoulder with just enough subtle possessiveness to make Pike back off, and speak a few choice words that he knew would pull Lisbon's attention right back to him… and all things would be right again. It is so easy, it is so tempting, but it would also be so wrong.

He came back to mend what he has broken, to make things right, to prove to her that he can be something more than a man that takes and takes and gives nothing back in return. This is it, isn't? Atonement. Putting her wants ahead of his. Having the decency to let her choose what is right for her.

He forces himself to stay put and look away. If he moves, if he takes a step, he thinks, he would not be able to stop.

She knows she is being unfair: not telling him about DC, waiting for him to figure everything out himself.

Ha! He deserves this! Her more spiteful self says indignantly, holding tightly to the silver of pride she managed to retain through the years, but she acknowledges that is only a half truth. She cannot quite forgive him just yet, yes, but Jane is still Jane and his opinion matters. If she is angry then she is even more scared. Scared because her heart cannot handle the possibility of him showering her with sarcasm, or worse yet, with disinterest, at her news – and both of those reactions are very much Jane indeed.

She has her mind mostly made up, mostly out of self perseverance – she would be a coward – but Abbott has to step in and remind her that Jane is only a pretend psychic. Pretend psychic – as in Jane cannot possibly know everything she is thinking, as in Jane is not immune to the same hurt and betrayal that ordinary humans feel.

It does not take long for the shame and irony to hit her in waves. She has been wounded and angry at Jane for abruptly exiting her life without giving her a say, but she is about to do exactly the same. She is being cruel, and Teresa Lisbon was never cruel (that was Jane's job, not hers), and the realization makes her feel absolutely sick.

She has to tell him herself, heart break or not.

He had his suspicions that she was hiding something from him, of course, and probably could have come to the conclusion himself had he tried, yet for once in his life he chose to be ignorant. He did not want to see, did not want to know.

But Lisbon spoke, and now he has no choice but to face the truth: that she really likes Marcus; that she is considering, seriously considering, moving to D.C. with him.

Despite his best effort to stay calm and compose, the initial panic is so overwhelming it left him grasping for words. Lisbon – leaving him – no. Not when he has started to… What? Heal? Start to move on? Live again? She cannot –

He makes a point of being there for me, she says. You did not, she implies.

Straight for the jugular. Oh, he had taught her well hadn't he?

She does not belong to you, he repeats in his mind like mantra, but understanding that does not stop his heart from twisting in the most painful way as he tells her, "If you are happy…" he wills himself to believe in his own words, "then I am happy."

Author's note: Very recently I started watching this show and I got really really into The Mentalist. These last episodes (hopefully for the season, but very likely the show) will definitely be a roller coaster ride to watch. I am hopeful and fearful all at the same time (please, Jane, do something!).

This was going to be a multi-chapter story, but then I got too busy, and now it doesn't seem very relevant. So this will stay being just a tag to Brown Eyed Girls.