So this chapter was interesting to write. Not a whole lot of Van Pelt in this episode. It's really all Lisbon and Jane. I'd forgotten how irritating I found Sophie Miller until I re-watched this. Hopefully it's accurate. Thanks to everyone still reading this and taking the time to review. I appreciate it. I still own nothing.
Chapter 11 – Episode 10 – Red Brick and Ivy
It was a slow day. I was sitting in her office catching up on some paperwork when Jane walked in quickly after knocking on my door. "Hey."
"Hey." I said, responding in kind.
"If someone was murdered on the campus of a state university it's ours isn't it?" he asked me.
Well, technically yes, but without good reason the CBI usually doesn't interfere unless we need to. "Can be if we muscle of the locals," I told him. "Why do you ask?"
"I need a favour." He said.
Jane is asking me for a favour? Well this is new. I mean, sure I do things for him all the time, but that's usually after he's conned me into them or because he's ticked off someone and needs to be protected. Jane actually asking is new. And I admit I'm intrigued. I put down my papers and gave him my full attention. "What kind of a favour?"
"An old friend that I owe a favour might be in a spot of trouble, I want you to take over the case." I started to say something but he cut me off. "Relax Lisbon, I'm not asking you to tamper with evidence or anything, just make things are handled well. Don't ask."
That was even more interesting. Jane was asking me for a personal favour? For someone from his past? Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious. And let's face it, I'd probably do the same for any member of my team if they asked. "Alright," I said with a shrug. "I won't ask. Just let me make a couple of calls." I told him.
He grinned and thanked me before ducking back out of my office. I really hoped this didn't end in disaster.
That might have been wishful thinking on my part. From what I'd heard so far about this case things sure didn't look good for Jane's... friend. I'm not sure exactly what Sophie Miller is, or rather was, to him, but whatever it is I somehow doubt she was ever just a friend. At the moment my consultant and I are watching one of the local cops interview the woman, one Dr. Sophie Miller. The officer sure seems to think she's guilty, not that I blame him given the evidence against her. "Sophie, Alex's water bottle contained a ten percent solution of hydrogen cyanide. What do you know about that?" he asked.
"I know that hydrogen cyanide is a legal poison, beyond that nothing at all. Please, call me Ms. Miller or Dr. Miller or ma'am, not Sophie if you don't mind." Well, she was calm and collected I'll give her that. Obviously very smart, maybe even smart enough to deal with Jane on a regular basis.
Her interrogator was less than impressed with her attitude. "You're not setting the boundaries here. You were seen by several witnesses arguing with the victim shortly before his death." I glanced a Jane at that. That was never a good sign. She'd better have a good explanation. "You fled the scene immediately after his death," the man continued.
"A cunning plan eh?" Dr. Miller as she wanted to be called seemed almost amused by the accusation. Gotta say, not really the best attitude for getting on the police's good side, especially if you're innocent. I have a feeling this woman's going to be a bit of a pain.
The officer didn't even bother to dignify her comment with a response, just continued on with his line of questioning. "Since your divorce from the victim two years ago. You've been arrested for assaulting him twice and made several death threats against him. He obtained a restraining order against you."
"And I obtained one against him also."
"Oh, well that's alright then."
"Didn't bother you that Alex remarried? That he found happiness with another woman" A passionate, violent past with the man, and he just remarried? Hell, she'd be at the top of my suspect list too. She'd be at the top of anyone's suspect list. I glanced at Jane again, who was watching Dr. Miller intensely. Maybe not quite anyone's list... I really hope she didn't do it or this is going to get messy, really messy.
"Alex and I got past our personal history. We had to for the sake of our work together."
Something about this woman was rubbing me the wrong way. Her whole attitude towards her interrogation was irritating, an odd mix of entitlement and arrogance. She didn't even seem upset that her ex-husband had just been killed basically right in front of her. And she was treating the officer's perfectly reasonable questions like they were absurd. She had to know she was the obvious suspect; her first reaction had been to call Jane to help her out of her predicament. I turned my attention back to the officer's questions, "Ah yes, your work together at the Stutzer institute right? Which gave you ready access to the hydrogen cyanide," the officer pointed out.
"You know, I had thought that being innocent that I don't need a lawyer, but I can see that you have some animus against me so I'll say nothing more until I have a lawyer present." Well, the second half that was the first sensible thing she's said all day given her history with the deceased and ready access to the poison. Jane was looking at me intently.
I had to ask, "What if we take this case and it turns out she's guilty."
But he dismissed that possibility. "She didn't do it," he told me confidently.
"How do you know?" I asked. How long has it been since you saw this woman? Can you honestly be that sure?
Apparently Jane was just that sure, or, like his old friend, just that arrogant. "Because she told me she didn't. She wouldn't lie to me." I scoffed internally at that. No, because no one ever lies to the great Patrick Jane.
"Why not?" I asked him reasonably.
"Because she wouldn't." Oh, great reason. Really convincing argument there.
"Suppose she did." I told him indulgently. See if you can find it in you to consider that possibility.
Jane finally decided to acknowledge that the good doctor might be involved. "Well if she is guilty then we need to catch her and punish her, but she's not."
Oh for crying out loud. Ten minutes in and I'm already wishing I hadn't agreed to this. "Jane I know I said I wouldn't ask, but I'm asking. Who is this woman? What's the connection?"
"You don't want to know," he told me with a slight grin.
Maybe not, but I have a feeling that sooner or later I'm going to need to, because I've remembered about an hour too late that Jane attracts chaos at every turn.
The local cop interviewing Sophie clearly didn't appreciate us honing in on his case, and I can't say I blame him. "She'll talk, she just needs time," he told me.
"To do what?" Jane asked. Oh for Pete's sake! Has there ever been a case where Jane didn't immediately get off on the wrong foot with the local law enforcement officials?
"Hey." I chastised him quietly. That wasn't the way to get on this guy's good side. Not that we need to be, I can claim jurisdiction whether he likes it or not, but it never hurts. So I decided to be diplomatic, "I'm not saying she isn't good for it, but we don't have enough solid evidence to support that right now." There that was tactful and has the added benefit of being true.
"I disagree." I mentally sighed. So much for diplomacy.
"That's your right, but the CBI's lead agency on this." I ignored Jane's frantic gestures towards me. Although I admit I was a bit flattered he was so confident that I could just walk in there and take over a case. He'd better not make this a habit though.
Not that my fellow officer was going to give up that easily. "Yes," he said to me. "Strange though that a Department of Justice unit like CBI's lead agency 'cause Sophie Miller called the DOJ switchboard this morning. Why it's almost like she, chose her own investigators."
Because the idiot had called on her cell phone and they had her phone records. Great. Now this looks shady. Luckily for Jane (and for me at this point) in this case jurisdiction was clear, "Leland is a state university. We automatically offer our services when local agencies aren't equipped. If Sophie Miller called the DOJ it's a coincidence." Well the second half of that is a flat out lie. Stupid consultant so owes me for this one.
Luckily, or unluckily I guess depending on your perspective, another officer interrupted us to bring out attention to posters that had been put up all over Leland's campus overnight by something called the Animal Equality League. The posters claimed that Alex Nelson's death was justice for his years of cruelty to animals. At least it took some of the focus off of Sophie, sorry Dr. Miller, and the fact that she'd called Jane earlier that morning. Still, my boss was not going to like this development. 'Course he'd probably like it even less if he knew I'd gotten us all into this mess as a favour to Jane. If I got through the day without a headache it'd be a miracle.
Almost immediately after we got back to the CBI, Leland's Chancellor, Chancellor Stern dropped by to talk to Minnelli. And I'd been so hoping for a chance to break the details of our new case to him gently. Chancellor Stern pompously demanded security for Leland's assets and that the case be handled quickly and efficiently. Adding him to animal rights angle, I knew Minnelli was going to be annoyed. Why couldn't Jane have an old friend who got themselves in the middle of less controversial case? Oh yeah, because it's Jane.
My boss' advice, "You better close this one quick Lisbon." Yeah, no kidding. Because if I don't this'll look really, really bad for the CBI, not to mention for me personally.
And I still have no idea why I'm even doing it.
"Hey, thanks for not telling him I made you take the case." Jane told me as he stuck his head in my office.
I had my back turned towards him when he walked in and I didn't turn to face him when he spoke. I really didn't want to talk to him right now. What possible good would telling Minnelli have done? He was already angry enough; no point in telling him his loose-cannon of a consultant was involved. And I was angry at myself for jumping right in without insisting on details. I mean sure, you do that sometimes for a colleague, when you trust them. This is Jane, intrigue and disaster follow him around. Damn my curiosity about this man's past.
This irritating, irritating man who was not going away. "Lisbon?" he tried again. "Helloooo..."
Seriously? Seriously? "Tell me the truth," I demanded. I've had enough of his games. If he couldn't at least give me five minutes to figure out how to proceed then he was damn well going to tell me why I was involved in the first place.
But unsurprisingly Jane didn't seem to realize the severity of the situation he'd just gotten us all in. "Truth, ah, Darth Vader, Luke's father."
I slammed my filing cabinet drawer. That was it. "Seriously? I've stuck my stupid neck out for you for the umpteenth time. I think I deserve the truth."
Jane actually looked nervous, and maybe a little guilty. Oh God. Jane looked unsettled. Maybe he was right; maybe I didn't want to know.
But I was in it now. I watched as he quietly shut the door to my office before asking, "Why is Sophie Miller so important to you?"
"She was my doctor," he told me.
I was confused. "She's a psychiatrist."
Jane acknowledged that fact. "Yes, she was my psychiatrist."
Okay. Not that that clears up all the questions of course. "But you hate psychiatrists, so you always say."
"She was a good psychiatrist," he said, as if that explained everything, his voice still conveying nothing to me.
"She must have been if she managed to keep you in the room." I told him. I couldn't imagine Jane willingly submitting to psychiatry. Wonder what her secret had been... Maybe I should get some tips...
Jane abruptly put an end to that particular idea. "It was a locked room," he told me.
Oh my god. Oh hell. "Oh." I didn't know what else to say. What was there to say? I didn't want to bring back those memories. The woman's presence alone was probably hard enough on the man. I was beginning to understand.
"Yeah, I went through a rough patch. I did a little time in a hospital and Sophie helped me through that time."
"It's not on your record." Stick to the facts Teresa. Do not get emotional. Don't show pity. He'll resent you.
"No, I... Believe me, it's not easy to do." I watched as Jane paused and swallowed, searching for words. "I know there's nothing shameful about having a breakdown, but I've gotta confess, I am ashamed of it."
I nodded, finally understanding both his attitude and he wanted to help this woman. "Thank you for being so honest with me." I told him.
"Sorry I kept it from you," and I think he meant it. It was always hard to tell with Jane. You never knew when he was being genuine. But this conversation was one of the few times I was sure of. I almost felt bad for bringing it up, but I did need to know. I appreciated his honesty. That couldn't have been easy for him.
We held each other's gazes for a moment before I heard a knock on the door. Van Pelt opened it and seemed to recognize she was interrupting something. I shifted my gaze from Jane to her, "Ah, shall I come back later?" she asked.
"No." I told her, and with a final glance at Jane I left the office, giving him a few moments to compose himself. There was nothing I could say to make him feel better anyways. Nothing other than solving the case, while hoping that Sophie Miller wasn't guilty.
This looked like it was going to be a messy case. I'd heard stories about how animal rights cases could get even if I hadn't ever worked one myself. I wasn't sure why we were even working this one. I mean, I know we technically had jurisdiction, but we certainly didn't take over the investigation of every murder committed on a university campus. I asked Cho but he just sighed, and then after a slight pause told me it might be better not to ask.
I was curious, but decided to follow his advice. After all the only ones to ask would be Lisbon or Jane. Lisbon was in a bad mood from the Chancellor's earlier visit and Jane, well, Jane had been acting strangely all day.
So I'd just gone to work as usual doing research with the rest of the team. We didn't have much yet; Rigsby was still looking at security tapes and Cho figured the type of water bottle the poison had been added to was so readily available on campus it was probably a dead end. Still I thought it was probably worth updating the boss on what I'd found out about the Animal Equality League's past violent acts.
I noticed her door was closed, which in and of itself was a bit odd. Usually she left it half open. I knocked and waited a moment before opening it. As soon as I did I wished I hadn't. Jane and Lisbon were staring at each other, obviously in the middle of... something."Ah, shall I come back later?" I asked Lisbon when she acknowledged my presence.
But she said no, and followed me back out into the bullpen. We updated her on what we had, which admittedly wasn't much. She just nodded and told us she was taking Jane to interview our victim's boss, one Dr. Stutzer.
With that she retrieved the consultant from her office and the pair of them left together. Despite Cho's advice I couldn't help wondering what exactly it was that I'd walked in on. Whatever Lisbon claimed, I had clearly been interrupting something. Rigsby had mentioned something earlier about suspecting Jane knew someone involved in the case. That would explain things. But who did he know? And why had Lisbon been so willing to jump in and take over the case for him?
Just what was going on with those two?
I took Jane with me to go interview Stutzer. I figured his read on the man would be informative, and I knew that there was no way I'd be able to keep him away.
The interview was interesting to say the least. We were shown to Dr. Stutzer's office by his teaching assistant Kerry Sheehan, who I had to say, was the first person who seemed genuinely upset that Alex Nelson was dead.
Stutzer himself was also upset of course, though I couldn't tell if he'd miss Alex Nelson for himself or for his research abilities. Then the man had started talking about his research program and it was all I could do to keep my expression neutral. I mean, he claimed to be curing evil and banishing the devil! Instead of being impressed all I was reminded of was a bunch of bad science-fiction movies.
Jane seemed equally sceptical, and had the advantage of being able to show it without being reprimanded. Luckily Stutzer seemed to be amused by Jane's attitude, and decided to give us a tour of the lab to prove his research was valuable. He showed us Suzie, one of the chimpanzees they'd been experimenting on. Apparently they'd been able to recalibrate her to be less violent.
I asked Stutzer if he was aware of the threats to his person, but he just brushed them off as part of a scientist's lot. I tried to convince him he might be in danger, but he refused to be careful. He'd even bought a gun for protection and decided to keep it in his office. Somehow I couldn't picture him using it, but whatever. I couldn't force him to be careful. That was pretty much the end of our visit. After a quick look in at the preliminary human trials they were conducting (prompted again by Jane's scepticism) we left, leaving Dr. Stutzer to his precious research.
I know the whole situation was serious, and that we had to take the threats against Stutzer seriously, but as we left his office I was fighting the urge to laugh. The man had just been so ridiculous. The stereotypical scientist in his ivory tower. And Jane had just been too terrible mocking the man's research. He may have gotten me into this mess but at least he was entertaining now that we were in it.
"Forget about the animal equality league," Jane told me as we left. "We should firebomb the place. Guy's going to put us out of a job."
I wasn't worried. "I can't see it. Human beings are more than just electrical appliances." No way can Stutzer and his colleagues make a person good or evil just by flipping a switch in our brains.
Speaking of Dr. Stutzer's colleagues, Sophie Miller herself walked up. "Patrick," she called to Jane. Jane looked over at her startled. I was intrigued that his initial reaction to seeing her again wasn't pleasure. But then I realized, even if she had helped him through his... troubles, he probably didn't appreciate the reminder of what she represented.
"Dr. Miller, Sophie." He sounded unsure as he greeted her. Since I usually only ever see the supremely confident Patrick Jane I had to admit seeing this side of him was somewhat unexpected. Dr. Miller either didn't notice his hesitation or decided to ignore it. She barely even glanced at me before turning all her attention back to Jane, who had overcome his initial hesitation and was now smiling back at her. I couldn't resist giving her a quick once-over. Just what had their relationship entailed? I'm no expert, but the way she's looking at him... well, doesn't really seem like he was just another patient.
Jane made a quick introduction, "Ah, this is Agent Lisbon."
I smiled and held out my hand, determined to be friendly regardless of any suspicions I might have. "Hello." Dr. Miller smiled and shook my hand but didn't say anything. Lovely. "I'm gonna wait in the car." I told Jane. His companion clearly didn't want me around and I can't say that I was all that eager to be in her company for very long.
"Alright," he said.
I wandered slowly back to our standard-issue CBI vehicle curious almost in spite of myself. Just what had gone on between the two of them? Stop it Teresa. She was his psychiatrist. She helped him through a nervous breakdown. Of course they're close, of course he feels beholden. Just because you don't like her doesn't mean there's anything sinister going on here. They're just two people who haven't seen each other in a while catching up. Still, Jane is acting strangely...
"Hey Van Pelt," I heard Rigsby call me from across the bullpen. "I think I've got something."
"Yeah?" I said as I walked over. "What is it?"
"White van pulling away from our crime scene. I can get a partial plate and a sticker in the window. I'm trying to get a better view of it now, should have a better view in a minute."
Well that sounded promising. Better than anything I'd found so far on the Animal Equality Leage. "I'll do a search. Just give me the details."
"Okay, give me a second." Rigsby told me.
I was glad that Rigsby seemed to have forgotten about what happened a few weeks ago during the arson case. Let's face it, things are less awkward all around when your colleague forgets all about that time he confessed his love for you after taking a bunch of really strong painkillers. I mean, it was definitely flattering, and very sweet, but nothing could ever happen, so it's better this way. Besides, as things stand, we actually work pretty well together most of the time.
Like right now. Oh Bingo. "I think I found something." I told Rigsby. "Better get Cho."
"Sweet," he said as he rose to fetch Lisbon's second in command.
Our search had turned up a potential location for the Animal Equality League's base of operations. Cho thought it was a good lead, and after getting Lisbon's approval we decided to get SWAT and go in. So it was all a bit anticlimactic when it turned out the only person in the warehouse was an overweight guy surrounded by some electronic equipment and a bunch of cats.
I don't think any one of us really thought he was guilty as soon as we saw him. Of course this fact was only confirmed by watching Cho attempt to interrogate the guy. Our suspect was obviously out of touch with reality. Cho was clearly resisting the urge to put his head in his hands. I was watching the interrogation from my desk when Rigsby sat down next to me.
"He's crazy." I told him.
"Yeah, well, crazy don't make him innocent," Rigsby pointed out. "Crazy's what makes people kill other people"
I turned my attention back to Cho, "How did you kill Nelson?" he asked our suspect.
"Poison," the man told him immediately.
"What kind of poison did you use?" Cho asked.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Crazy guy asked, clearly having no idea what kind of trouble he was in.
"I do know." Cho stated calmly. "I'm wondering if you do." Clearly Cho thought this whole thing was a waste of time as well.
But the "head" of the Animal Equality League ignored that. "Do you realize that the real rulers of this planet are insects?" he asked. Cho glanced back at Rigsby and me, his expression incredulous.
"Okay," I said, turning to Rigsby. "Crazy innocent. Probably."
Rigsby sighed and picked up the phone to call Lisbon. So much for our prime suspect.
I got Rigsby's call about the truth behind our supposedly violent animal rights activists. It sounded like it was going nowhere, but I figured we'd better hold him until forensics was finished, and maybe let mental health have a go at him. I hung up the phone and turned to Jane. "Looks like the animal rights angle's a dead end."
Jane made some sort of non-committal sound to that, so I pressed on. "Back to square one."
"Grieving widow?" He asked.
"That's always a good place to start." I told him. I decided going back to Sophie Miller so quickly was a bad idea, at least until we had more information. Because unfortunately unless something else jumped out, sooner or later we were going to have to.
So we went to talk to the widow, who almost as soon as we arrived got a call about flower arrangements for the funeral. The whole idea of planning a funeral seemed more than the poor woman could handle. She hung up after a few minutes minute. "I'm sorry. Death is so complicated. I'm expected to answer all these questions about everything."
I decided to be gentle, figured anything else and she'd just break down. Besides, she hardly looked like the type to commit murder. "Mrs. Nelson I just..."
But Mrs. Nelson interrupted me quickly, "Please call me Emily. I never really got the hang of being called Nelson. Can we sit? I was just getting the hang of being a newlywed and now I'm a widow."
I tried again, "Did you have any sense that there was anything wrong in any aspect of Alex's life?"
But Emily didn't seem to have any useful information. "No, I don't think so. I mean, work had been really hard lately I know that."
While we were speaking Jane had been wandering around looking at photos. He approached us holding one, "Is that you?"
Although Emily seemed surprised by the question, she answered in the affirmative. Jane just complimented the photo and moved on so I turned her attention back to my questions, "Why was work so hard?"
"I don't know. When Alex would talk about his work I couldn't understand a word and he just stopped trying after a while." Wow. That's... wow. They've been married less than a year and he's already given up explaining what he does to her? Sounds like a real prince. But Emily obviously didn't have a problem with it. She didn't even pause in her answer, "But he had an argument on the phone a few weeks ago. Alex went into his office and I could hear him shouting he was so angry. He never shouts."
"Any idea who he was shouting at?" I asked her, not expecting much.
But here she surprised me, "It was a woman. Rosie I think he called her."
"Rosie. You know anybody named Rosie?" I asked.
"Did you ever ask him about the phone call?"
"I did. He said it was a work thing." And you don't talk about his work. Well wasn't that convenient.
Jane jumped in then, "And you believed him."
"Yeah," Emily said. The trust in her voice was almost tragic given what I knew Jane would likely ask next.
And he didn't disappoint, "You didn't suspect that there was another woman involved."
"No." The poor woman sounded devastated by the suggestion. I hoped her faith was justified, but given what I knew about the man I wasn't holding out much hope.
Jane had the grace to look apologetic, "Sorry, I have to ask such things. You have a beautiful house. Beautiful. Did you do the decorating?"
"No, it's all Alex. He was teaching me. He had an aesthetic." And some control issues.
We were interrupted by the phone ringing again. The sound seemed to distress the widow more. "It keeps doing that every five minutes. What am I gonna do?"
I reached out a hand in comfort but Jane walks over and took her hands with his. "When this funeral stuff is done with and Alex is buried, I want you to go someplace beautiful. Just get on a plane. Don't tell anyone where you're going, just go. Fly away and start building a new life for yourself," he told her
"Okay," she told him.
Jane wasn't done though, "But you promise me you will fight hard against your weakness for control freaks."
"Okay," the widow agreed. So much for not listening to people who wanted to control you I thought. Even if Jane's intentions were good her ready agreement did not bode well for her figuring out how to deal with that particular flaw.
But Jane was satisfied. "Good, good." He told Emily, placing one hand on her shoulder.
After we left Jane offered his opinion on the widow's guilt. "She couldn't kill anyone unless they told her to in a firm voice."
I had to agree. "That was funny." I put on a fake deep voice, "Don't listen to control freaks." Then I raised the pitch of my voice, "Whatever you say sir."
But Jane ignored that. "Let's go see Stutzer's assistant," he suggested.
"Kerry Sheehan?" I asked. "What you think she's the mysterious Rosie?"
"The widow's not a true blond. She's naturally dark," Jane told me.
"And what?" So she dyes her hair. What does that have to do with anything?
"And her hair is coloured and styled to look like Sophie only younger, who was a brunette when I knew her," Jane told me.
Well that was... creepy. "So Alex Nelson was a control freak like you said."
"A control freak with a serious thing for getting his women to dye their hair blond," he clarified.
"Kerry Sheehan has roots," I said, realizing what he was getting at. On its own it might have been a coincidence, but given how upset she'd been about Alex's death, well, it made sense.
"Yes she does." Jane told me.
"She and Alex Nelson were having an affair," I concluded.
Oh shut up Jane. I hit him in the chest, "Don't patronize me." Just because I don't have your creepy abilities doesn't mean I'm a moron.
Unfortunately even Jane had figured it out too late. Kerry Sheehan had already killed herself. Or so it appeared. I wasn't convinced. And this investigation stayed open until I said we were closing it.
Poor girl, killing herself like that out of guilt. I know we didn't have any proof that she'd killed Alex Nelson, but it sure looked like she had. I found a photo of them together at the crime scene. They were definitely having an affair. Even if she hadn't killed him, killing herself after her lover's death...it was tragic.
Despite what it looked like Lisbon was less sure that it was a suicide.
"The note's too brief for a woman," she explained when we were back at the CBI. "Women like to explain themselves. I think it's a staged suicide."
"Perhaps she was too ashamed of what she'd done to talk of it," Jane suggested.
"She had enough pills to kill herself ten times over." I told the boss.
"Hoarding pills is characteristic of the suicidal type," Rigsby pointed out.
"Yes, but why would she kill herself with hydrogen cyanide? With terrible pain, when she'd collected enough pills that would let her slip away gently," I asked him. I could see Lisbon's point. Something just didn't fit.
"Well maybe she wanted the pain" Jane suggested. "She needed the pain to punish herself for killing her lover." Okay, that made sense if she was the killer. Still didn't explain why the suicide note was so short. And Lisbon was right, women did tend to write longer suicide notes.
"You really want this case to be over don't you?" Lisbon asked him, her tone challenging.
"Don't you?" he countered.
But Lisbon stuck to her guns. "Actually, no. I want to find out the truth. And if Carrie didn't kill herself then..."
"The widow had a motive." Cho interrupted.
But Lisbon dismissed that suggestion, "Yeah, but not the temperament. There's no way she's a killer. That leaves one obvious suspect." She nodded and faced off against Jane. I really didn't want to get in the middle of whatever was going on between them this week. Not again. Once was enough for me. And since Jane apparently knew Sophie Miller, this could get ugly. I wouldn't want to be in Lisbon's position.
"Oh," he said with a mirthless laugh. "Sophie."
Lisbon pointed out that she was the obvious choice. "Look at her record; she and Alex were violently obsessed with each other. Maybe they were still secretly involved. Maybe she was jealous of Carrie." Jane looked away then upset. I felt badly for him, but the boss was right. Sophie was the obvious suspect.
"Yeah, but why kill Carrie and leave Emily unharmed?" Cho asked.
"And how did she even know Carrie was sleeping with Alex?" Rigsby put in. Okay, those were good questions. Still, she was still our best suspect if Carrie's suicide really was staged.
"Let's go ask her." Jane said abruptly. The three of us watched in silence as he left and Lisbon followed. Without saying anything we all got up and went back to work. It's times like these that I'm really glad I don't have Lisbon's job.
"Let's keep it casual this time with Sophie," Jane told me as we left the briefing. "Let her relax. If she gets her guard up we'll get nothing from her."
"You're very combative all of a sudden." I said innocently, like I hadn't provoked him back there. After all, he needed to accept that his former psychiatrist might just be guilty.
"Yeah, well if she is guilty she lied to me and I believed it." He told me in an irritated tone. "She fooled me."
"The ultimate sin," I couldn't help commenting.
"Yes it is." Ha. Talk about controlling men. Jane can't even stand the idea of another person fooling him. Sophie Miller certainly knows how to pick the winners.
And so Jane and I were back at the university watching Dr. Miller and another tech conduct clinical trials. Jane seemed fascinated by the ability to calibrate people to be villains or saints as he called them. I'm still sceptical of the whole thing. Somehow I don't think it could possibly be that easy. Before I knew it Jane was demanding to have a go on the machine. Dr. Miller seemed amused and entertained by his obvious interest. But I thought we were getting off-track so I interrupted. "Dr. Miller."
"Yes?" She asked, turning to me for the first time since we'd arrived.
I decided to start off slowly, "I assume you've heard about Kerry Sheehan's death."
"Yes, it's tragic," she told me, though she didn't sound particularly upset. "Do you think that she killed Alex?"
"Is there somewhere that we could talk in private?" I asked her.
"Sounds so ominous," she told me condescendingly. Oh, I really wish I could smack this woman. She's just so smug and superior all the time.
But, luckily in this case I have the upper hand. I faked a friendlier tone, "We could do it downtown with lawyers present, but I thought it would be more congenial to talk here." On the other hand if you want me to take you down to the station I'd be only too happy to oblige, whether Jane likes it or not.
"You're right, and I'm happy to talk to you, because I understand you're just trying to do your job." This woman is Jane's former psychiatrist. She's important to him. She means something. No matter how snide or rude she is to you, unless she's actually a killer she's probably not worth the hassle that would come if you gave her the smackdown she's just asking for. Be calm Teresa.
Wordlessly Dr. Miller led us back to Dr. Stutzer's office. He'd left for the night so we'd have some privacy.
I started our little chat, "We were wondering, did you know Carrie and Alex were having an affair?"
"Well, I knew she was having an affair with a married man because she told me. I didn't know it was Alex, I didn't put it together," Dr. Miller answered.
So she had known about an affair, even it wasn't specific. Except something didn't make sense. For all she was a psychiatrist the woman sitting across from me didn't exactly look like the type that another woman would confide in about something like that. "She told you that? You were close then?"
"No, not really," Dr. Miller said casually. Really, I wasn't sure that I'd seen the woman display any genuine emotion since we met, other than when she was grinning inanely at Jane of course.
"She had to have known you were Alex's ex? Why would she talk to you of all people?" I asked her.
Dr. Miller looked amused and glanced at Jane, like my question was one of the stupider things she'd ever heard. Do not smack her Teresa. You'll just have to fill out a mountain of paperwork if you do. "I don't know," Dr. Miller told me.
Jane interrupted us then, "You're a psychiatrist, give it a shot."
She looked annoyed at his suggestion, like she'd expected him to defend her, to go along with everyone she said. I couldn't help the momentary feeling of satisfaction when she realized that Jane was still technically on my team, , "My guess, that she was a silly little girl who liked the secret drama of it all and the safety of the rules would prevent me from slapping her senseless if I found out."
I figured Dr. Miller wouldn't be the type of person to take something like that, but a slap seemed a bit much, especially since he'd re-married. "Why would you slap her for that, you didn't care about Alex anymore?" I asked her innocently.
"I cared nothing at all for him, but I don't like being played with," she told me. And yet, you still get along with Jane. I wondered how well she actually knew my consultant. If she really didn't like being played with I couldn't imagine them getting along for too long. Jane played with people all the time. Couldn't help it... Unless she'd never realized what he was doing... Oh, that would explain so very much... his unease, her attitude towards him...
Shaking myself out of my thoughts I cut to the chase, "Were you still involved in a physical relationship with him?"
"No." She glanced at Jane again. I wasn't sure if she was interested in his reaction to that, or worried about what he might think.
"Who's Rosie?" I heard the chimpanzee in the background, but I focused on Dr. Miller.
"Rosie, I can't say that I know anybody with that name," but I didn't believe her.
"You sure?" I asked.
"Yes. Why? Was that Alex's other woman?"
"Emily heard Alex arguing with a woman she thought was called Rosie," I told her.
Jane interrupted our conversation again. "Lisbon, would you leave us alone for a moment?"
I didn't really want to, but I figured it might be for the best. I had no idea what was between the pair of them, but I knew I didn't want to be in the middle. Besides, I figured I owed Jane this. And he'd probably have better luck getting the woman to talk than I would. "No problem." I got up to leave.
"Thank-you." Jane said as he turned back to his former psychiatrist.
Cho, Rigsby and I were still back at the CBI, but as far as I knew no one had found much.
"So how do you think Jane knows Sophie Miller?" Rigsby asked suddenly, interrupting the silence.
"Old girlfriend?" I suggested. I know Cho told me not to get into it, but I couldn't help being curious. "I mean it's obvious they were close at some point."
"Yeah," Rigsby agreed. "And it would explain why he was reluctant to take her call at first."
"But," I reasoned, "That probably means he knew her before his wife because, well, I can't see Jane..."
"Yeah, I know." Rigsby said. "So maybe not old girlfriend, unless they haven't seen each other in a while."
"Still, he obviously knows her pretty well," I said.
"Or he thinks he does," Cho pointed out, joining the conversation for the first time. I hadn't really thought about the distinction, but he was right.
"Hey!" Rigsby said excited, "Maybe he knows her from his fake-psychic days!"
That was an interesting idea, "You're thinking ex-client?" I asked.
"It's possible." Rigsby pointed out.
"Yeah, but she hardly seems like the type." I told him. "I mean a psychiatrist who sees a psychic? That doesn't seem likely. She seems too sceptical for that."
"Maybe..." Rigsby admitted, somewhat dejected. "Still, you never know..."
Cho seemed to disagree, "Do you guys really think that Jane, or Lisbon for that matter, would got to this much trouble for someone who was just an ex-client?" he asked.
He was right, but if she wasn't a client, then who was she, because Cho was implying they were rather close, but he didn't seem to think the association as all that positive, or all that innocent. "What are you saying?" I asked him.
"I'm saying that it's Jane, and so it's probably not a great idea to speculate. Who knows what he's gotten up to in the past," Cho told us, as he left the room.
Rigsby and I glanced at each other. "He's right you know," I told him.
"Yeah," Rigsby said with a sigh. Suddenly he grinned, "So you think what, blackmailing ex-lover?"
I grinned back, but my answer was cut off by a phone call from Lisbon. Apparently Sophie Miller wasn't guilty, but she was willing to help us catch whoever was. The three of us were to get to Leland as quickly as possible. It seemed Jane had an idea.
When Jane filled me on his private conversation with his ex-psychiatrist I couldn't believe it. Apparently Dr. Miller wasn't a murderer, but she was guilty of fraud. The Stutzer institute had been faking their findings for the past year because their stupid morality engine didn't work. Dr. Miller suspected Alex had been killed because he'd threatened to go public. Jane figured either Dr. Stutzer himself, or Chancellor Stern was the real killer. He had a plan to catch the guilty party, and the good doctor had agreed to help.
I didn't particularly like the sound of it, but Jane was adamant, so I told him if he got Minnelli on side I'd do it. Jane told me my boss had agreed. I'm not sure I believed him, but I decided to just go with it.
Jane tricked Stutzer and Stern into believing the morality engine worked but that he'd been calibrated for evil. Then he grabbed Stutzer's own gun and pretended to kill Sophie. When he threatened to kill Stutzer too unless he confessed to the murders the Chancellor came clean. My team and I were of course waiting on the other side of the door.
After getting his confession Jane stopped his act. "Sophie you can get up now. See, blood. Totally worth it. It's always those little details that sell the whole thing. That was, uh, that was great."
Chancellor Stern started backtracking as soon as he saw me, "It's all inadmissible. I said what I had to say to save myself from this lunatic with a gun." That was all true, but somehow I didn't really care right now. The case was finally over.
"She knows," Jane told the Chancellor, "but knowing the truth is important too." Then he clarified the location of the hydrogen cyanide used to poison the two victims. "Uh, top shelf left or right did you say?"
"Left," the idiot answered.
"We have agents at your house right now with a search warrant," I told him.
"Inadmissable," he claimed doggedly.
I pretended to consider that. "Yes. I'd hate to be a state's attorney. Jane's always pullin' crap like this on them, but they always win. In the mean time you're under arrest. CHO?" I called. "Would you?" My trusty second-in-command promptly began reading the Chancellor his rights.
Jane handed me the gun, "Thank-you." I rolled her eyes at him. Somehow I figured Minnelli's opinion wasn't going to be as positive.
Jane of course just looked thrilled. Stutzer less so. "The engine doesn't work?" he asked Dr. Miller. "Huh! You were pretending."
"It doesn't work," his associate confirmed.
"Pretending. To catch the Chancellor, or me I suppose. You couldn't know which." At least he didn't seem that upset.
Jane helpfully put his two cents in. "Oh, I thought it was you," he told the other man.
"Very clever. I so badly wanted to believe that it worked. Mind plays tricks huh? Well, never mind." And with that the older man just sat down at his desk.
I watched Jane say goodbye to Dr. Miller from the driver's seat of the car. There definitely had been something between them at one time, something more than a traditional doctor-patient relationship, not that I knew exactly what it extended to. I couldb;t blame her entirely. Jane was very, very good at manipulation. Who knows what he was capable of? He probably hadn't had malicious intentions, but he did tend to use people for his own ends, consciously or not. Who knows what he would have done if he decided he wanted out of wherever he was? She'd been his way out. And she certainly didn't have the best track record with personal relationships. I sighed, even if she had helped him when he needed it, I hoped this was the last time I had to deal with the good Dr. Miller.
I watched as Jane kissed her on the cheek and walked towards me. I changed my expression from serious to amused. "Awww. Jane kissed a girl."
He looked a little discomfited at that, "Well yes. Yeah, on the cheek."
"Still counts," I told him.
"Counts as what?" he asked me.
"Nothing, just saying." I said, trying to play it off.
He got into the car. He was too serious. Maybe the teasing hadn't been a good idea. "You wanna drive?" I asked him.
Jane turned to me then, interested. "That's a very sweet offer. Do I really seem so sad?"
I deflected his question. "What? I was just asking if you wanted to drive." Geez, no need to read so much into everything.
But this was Jane I was talking to. "You don't like it when I drive. You despise it."
"You drive way too fast." He did. I was always surprised that he didn't get a speeding ticket every time he got behind the wheel.
"I drive just fast enough," Jane countered. "You hate not being the one in control and yet you're willing to overcome your irrational fears to cheer me up. That's a beautiful thing Lisbon." He'd perked right up by the end of his speech. "Thank-you, I'd love to drive." He started to take off his seatbelt, but I'd have enough of his nonsense. The man couldn't just take something for what it was, had to analyze everything and make me feel silly about my answer. Well, then he could just sit there in the passenger seat.
"Never mind." I told him as I started the car. He could look as surprised as he liked. Whatever he said, this entire case had been entirely his fault.
And so strictly obeying the posted speed limit at all times, I drove my consultant back to the office for our team's traditional post-case tradition. I hope this time whoever bought the snacks had included chocolate.