Summary: Patrick Jane searches for peace among memories and life at CBI. Three part one shot.
Author's Note: Hello again :) This is my second attempt at The Mentalist fan fiction. Thanks to everyone who reviewed See Jane Nurse! It really means a lot to me. :) This will be a three part one shot, hopefully updated fairly soon one after the other. The title of the story and the quotes that will appear at the top of the story are from a Switchfoot song called This Is Home. Jane's memories are in italics. I own nothing. Enjoy!
This is Home
I've got my memories. They're always inside of me...but I can't go back, back to how it was...
The house was empty. Five years in the making, five years collecting dust, empty hollow dust that collected on the empty hollow floors. For five years material possessions have held no interest for Patrick Jane. He was content to sleep on a single bed air mattress beneath the only decoration that lined his walls. The smiling red reminder of the emptiness that occupied not only his house. It was the first thing he saw in the morning. It was the last thing he saw before he went to bed on that sinking cot. Red John consumed his very being.
The faded blood greeted him now. Staring back at him, a reminder of another day's failure. Another day of Red John's freedom. Five years of freedom. The next day would be, soon enough, another day of freedom for one of the two. And like always, he knew deep down who would be on that side of freedom, and it made him sick.
He squeezed at his shoulders, releasing the day's tension, like his wife used to do.
"Hey," he could almost hear the smile in her voice, she was happy to see him. "Rough day?"
"A little..." He replied, feeling her arms wrap around his chest from behind. "It's a bit of drudgery, lying to people all day."
"Patrick..." Disapproval coated her tone, her mouth pressed against his ear. "You do help them. In your own way, you do. They come to you, looking for answers, peace of mind. You give them that..."
When he didn't respond, she kissed his neck and began to massage his shoulders. "Relax, Patrick. You're home now. You don't have to worry about anything here."
The cold moonlight was soon replaced by a steel gray sky. It matched his mood perfectly, he thought, as he lay in the center of the carpeted floor of his bedroom. He had given up on sleep hours ago and as his unnecessary alarm clock went off, something went off inside him as well.
A dull excitement electrified his veins, something he knew would be bursting out of him by the time he reached the office. It was the cause of the happy-go-lucky Patrick Jane that his coworkers knew. The cool, confidence in him, the con in him stretched his legs on days like today. It was what kept him floating. Because when he floated through case after case, using his skills to apprehend the devils of the world it brought him one step closer to finding the only one that mattered.
His shower was rushed, breakfast near nonexistent and shoes improperly tied as he raced to his car. The sun was fighting behind the clouds the entire way to CBI, finally breaking through as he parked his car and strolled up to the building. He didn't notice the flapping of his shoe laces on the way to the elevators or the unconscious habit of putting one foot too closely in front of the other.
"Good morning Lisbon," he crooned, making his way over to her, repeating that ill-fated habit.
He tripped over his own shoe laces, nearly bowling over his boss in the process and tossing a fresh cup of coffee down her blouse.
"Jane!" She cried, hurriedly unsticking the now hot fabric from her body, while he stabled himself and tried to do the same for her. "Oh, stop it." she slapped his hands away, shaking her head.
"Don't even say it." She frowned, her eyes trailing downwards to the mess on the floor, noticing his shoes. Her eyes narrowed in his direction; her lips formed a line.
"What?" he asked innocently, his eyes following hers.
"I'm going home to change. Clean this up?" She breezed past him as she glanced at her watch. "And Jane, tie your shoes."
A faint smile spread across his face as he watched her retreat beyond the door. Turning back to the matter at hand, and reaching for a paper towel, he dropped to the floor and began to mop up the cooling coffee. A flash of white streaked across his mind, a little girl, his little girl, running from the kitchen to the back yard.
"It's okay, sweetie." He called over his shoulder before revolving back to the mess of milk on the floor. A whole gallon had slipped from her fingers.
"What's all this?" His wife called as she walked into the kitchen, groceries in hand.
"She spilled the milk...she tried to cry, but I wouldn't let her." He grinned up at her before standing to ring the liquid out of the rag.
"Patrick," his wife began, setting the bags down and folding her arms across her chest. "Why didn't you just fix it for her? Now I need to go back to the store and get -"
"I'll get it and she wanted to try. She was even going to pour it into the big girl cup." His eyes twinkled as if he was amazed by this near accomplishment.
"What am I going to do with you?" She smiled, stepping over the puddle to stand in front of him.
His mouth pulled into a smirk as he trapped her in front of the refrigerator door. "There's always time out..."
"Jane...what are you doing?" Van Pelt's voice floated to his ears.
"Cleaning up a mess," he replied, tossing the sopping wet paper towel and Styrofoam coffee cup into the trash.
"You need to tie your shoes."