The next day, Jane showed up almost on time, for once. Lisbon registered why in a moment, though. He looked pale, making his lips and the red of his cheeks more prominent. His eyes were more tired than ever, as if he hadn't slept at all.
The consultant shuffled in quietly. He'd managed to win Sam over the day before- she'd finally admitted that the killer should be caught, and gave them two names. When she wasn't being blatant and rude, she was actually quite a smart, thoughtful girl. However, he agents were still suspicious that she'd done it, but Jane shook his head.
Flashback (In the kitchen with the agents, Sam, and Jane)
"May I see your hand?" he'd suddenly asked her. The teen blinked in surprise, but held out her right hand. Jane took it, delicately rubbing between the knuckles, flexing the fingers, and scrutinizing her fingernails and palms. After a minute, he'd let go, looking at Sam with knowing eyes. She yanked her hand back and flexed it, cracking her thumb with a flick.
"Her hands are callused, but not in the right places for holding a knife," he explained, grabbing a butcher knife from the drawer and gripping it tightly. The bumpy handle left small red marks on his hands, and he held his hand beside Sam's.
"See on the thumb, how the marks are on this side, and she has no calluses there? And on the fingers," he explained, pointing to his hand then hers.
"My hands are callused from-," the girl started, but Jane beat her to it.
"Piano, guitar, and…" he trailed off, squinting at the calluses at the base of her fingers.
"Biking and kayaking," she finished for him. He nodded, then started coughing again.
Lisbon eyed his sickly pallor for a moment before shaking her head and retreating to her office. She knew he was faking. Patrick Jane didn't get sick.
The next few days continued in that manner. Jane's stuffy nose was gone, but he was still coughing often. He did his usual mind games, rule-breaking, and dramatic plans as usual, until he discovered the murder weapon, complete with fingerprints and blood, hidden in Eliza's room. Eliza was one of the lesser suspects, since she was the victim's best friend.
"Why would she leave evidence like this?" Rigby wondered out loud, replacing Eliza's box of knickknacks under the floorboards where he'd found it.
"She-," he paused, fighting a bout of coughing, then continued. "She feels guilty, and can't bear to throw it away. To her, it marks a horrible mistake she made. She didn't mean to kill her, really. I'm sure they went to some party, got drunk, and Eliza found Jessie with some guy she liked. She was jealous, and got angry. She lured Jessie into one of the other rooms and stabbed her to death," Jane said smartly. Then he allowed himself to cough.
"Are you okay?" Van Pelt asked with concern. "That sounds painful." Behind Jane's back, Lisbon rolled her eyes.
"I'm fine," he panted.
They scoured the rest of Eliza's apartment (her parents weren't great parents, so she'd moved out when she turned eighteen) and found nothing else suspicious, except for a blood-stained shirt, and pants with blood spattered across the front.
"I think you were right," Lisbon mused, examining the shirt. Someone had clearly spurted blood all over Eliza, and she hadn't even attempted to wash it. Lisbon straightened, up, looking around. "Jane? Jane!"
She found him sitting in the small living room, flipping through a book absently.
"Jane, what are you doing?" she asked suspiciously, expecting this to be part of one of his schemes. He looked up, closing the book.
"Hmm? Oh, nothing," he said innocently. Lisbon eyed him warily, and she noticed that he still seemed a bit winded. As he put the book back on the shelf, she also saw that his hands were shaking.
"Are you sure you're okay?" she found herself asking, starting to doubt her faker, he's doing it for attention theory. He nodded, giving her a winning smile, but there was something wrong about the way he was sitting. It wasn't his normal, attentive, focused sprawl. He looked like he'd sunk into the chair weakly, from the way he was flopped against the back. She also realized he looked a bit sweaty and clammy.
"Lisbon, I've already said it. I'm fine," he told her. She bit her lip and crossed the room, putting a hand against his forehead. He frowned and moved out from under it like an uncooperative child, but not before she felt the burning heat of his skin.
"Jane-," she started anxiously, but he shook his head stubbornly. She saw his throat working to fight coughing, but he lost, doubling over and giving into it. His sides heaved with the force of the wracking coughs.
"You need to see a doctor. You've been like this for almost a week," she said with real worry. He shook his head again, still coughing. She made an exasperated sound and turned to continue combing the apartment as he managed to gain control over his throat and lungs.
The chair creaked suddenly, and she turned just in time to see Jane's glacier eyes roll up into his head, and his too-limp form crumble the floor with a soft thump. In a moment, she was by his side, taking his pulse.
"Rigby! Cho! Van Pelt!" she shouted. They rushed into the room, eyes widening at the sight of their boss kneeling beside the ex-psychic, apparently unconscious. Lisbon glanced at the clock on the wall, silently counting his heartbeats while shouting orders.
"Van Pelt, call nine-one-one. Rigby, help me get him up on the couch. Cho, come here and figure out what's wrong," she commanded, eyes snapping back to Jane's flaccid shape. She'd counted a pulse of around one hundred and twenty beats per minute, which was much higher than a healthy, fit man like Patrick Jane should have, a sure sign that something was wrong.
"What happened?" Cho said urgently as Rigby and Lisbon lifted Jane onto the couch.
"He was coughing. Touch his forehead- he's burning up. I got a pulse of 127," she said quickly. She heard Van Pelt rattle off the address into the phone. Cho put a hand over Jane's open mouth, and grimaced.
"His breaths shouldn't be that short or that fast," he mumbled, opening each eye and peering at the pupils.
Lisbon watched with wide eyes, hating how thin and vulnerable Jane looked. He always looked so peaceful when he slept on the couch in the office, but was horrified at how relaxed and limp he appeared now.
A few tense minutes later, with none of the agents knowing what to do, the ambulance showed up. Lisbon threw her keys to Rigby and got in the ambulance, glaring down the protesting medic.
She told them what had happened before he'd passed out, while one took his pulse, one rubbed the glands under his jaw, and the other ripped Jane's shirt off (Lisbon blushed faintly) and pressed a stethoscope to his chest.
"Coarse rales," the stethoscope medic reported, moving the stethoscope to the bottom of his ribs. "I can't hear anything in the lower lungs."
"What does that mean?" Lisbon asked.
"Probably a lower respiratory infection of some sort. Bronchitis, emphysema, or pneumonia," one of them told her. Her eyebrows furrowed.
"Pneumonia? This is California, not Maine," she said skeptically. The medic shrugged.
"Pneumonia isn't actually caused by cold temperatures, though that can help it set in," the medic informed her. She shook her head disbelievingly as the ambulance pulled into the hospital.
An hour later, the doctor finally walked into the waiting room to talk to the anxious agents. Lisbon jumped to her feet, like she had every time anyone had come in, hoping they'd have something on what was happening.
"He's going to be fine," the doctor said. She sank back into the chair in relief. "I'm Kelly Watt."
"Teresa Lisbon," she said. The others introduced themselves.
"I'm Kimball Cho. What happened to Jane?" Cho asked. Dr. Watt, obviously realizing she was in for a long discussion, sat down.
"Pa- Jane has pneumonia." Lisbon let out a short, surprised laugh. Everyone turned to stare at her.
"Sorry," she said, a hand over her mouth to hide her grin.
"Um… so he has pneumonia. I'm amazed he's been working with it for this long."
"Pneumonia? So… he was cold?" Van Pelt said, confused. Dr. Watt shook her head.
"No, that's a common misconception. Pneumonia isn't caused by low temperature. It starts as a cold. Then, the cold can get worse, and he gets an infection. Pneumonia is pretty much mucus in the lungs, causing a slightly swollen throat. That then gives him the shortness of breath, fever, wheezing, increased pulse… The coughing is a big one, too. His body was trying to clear his throat, but there was nothing to clear, so he was just coughing without being able to stop."
"How did he stop, then?" Cho said, intrigued.
"No, I said that wrong. His body kept trying to cough, but one can will the body to do anything. He just fought it, which was good. If he'd coughed much more, his throat would scar," she explained.
"When can we see him?" Lisbon asked eagerly.
"Soon. About ten minutes. The only reason he passed out was fatigue. Pneumonia makes people weak, and I don't think he'd slept much more than ten hours total in the past week." She shook her head. "He should've come in sooner."
"That's what I told him," Lisbon muttered.
"What do you treat it with?" Cho questioned, always curious.
Dr. Watt listed off a few long, chemicalish names. "Those are all inhalants. We'll release him tomorrow morning, probably. Once he's out of here, he's got a few prescriptions he'll need to take for a week."
"We want to make sure he gets at least one good night of sleep." Her brow furrowed. "Pneumonia usually doesn't keep people awake. We're worried that there might be something else. Also, we want to be sure that he doesn't have any reactions to the medication. He's had the infection for a long time, so we've given him some powerful stuff."
Lisbon and Van Pelt exchanged a nervous glance- they all knew that Jane didn't sleep much. Something to do with his family's murder. They weren't exactly sure, but they all had their suspicions.
Cho continued to chat with Dr. Watt, both of them using longer, more complicated medical terms. The others were soon lost. Lisbon decided she should probably call back to the CBI and explain why an unexplained ambulance had rushed to an investigation site, while Van Pelt and Rigby talked in low voices.
Lisbon noticed Cho's eyes were bright, and he was inconspicuously glancing at Dr. Watt, then looking away just as quickly. She elbowed Van Pelt and Rigby, her eyes wide as she looked pointedly from Dr. Watt to Cho. Rigby snickered quietly, while Van Pelt raised her eyebrows.
After a few minutes, Dr. Watt's pager beeped. She glanced at it, frowned, and politely excused herself. The waiting room was silent. Lisbon soon sank into a bored stupor, staring at the wall across from her, her mind far away.
Finally, a nurse entered and, casting nervous glances at the guns at the agents' hips, she instructed them to follow. She led them down a winding labyrinth of halls, Lisbon struggling to memorize their route. Eventually, they stopped outside one of the rooms. The nurse opened the door and ushered them in.