Death, Lies, and Videotape

Chapter 1: The Bad Omen

Rain had been pouring for over five hours outside the CBI headquarters. The rare event had been entertaining, even fun, at the beginning. Entertaining because despite his manly exterior, Wayne Rigsby hated rain. Hated everything about it. That was one reason the man loved 'sunny' California. So when it rained, Rigsby was crabby... and when Rigsby was crabby, the team pounced on it which was why the rainy morning had been fun. With an atypically small caseload, the CBI team could take time to properly tease him.

After a while, however, aggrivating Rigsby about how rain was not a precurser of gloom and doom and playfully reassuring him that an umbrella would save him horrible hair embarrassment, the fun wore off. Teresa Lisbon retreated to her office to finish up some loose paperwork before lunch which was being retrieved by Rigsby and Cho, who had sarcastically offered to get the brave the deadly down pour to get the car and pull it as close to the building as he could so Rigsby wouldn't have to mess up his 'do'. Laughing devilishly, Rigsby had accepted his offer, just to show his friend not to mess with him.

That left Grace Van Pelt and Patrick Jane the only two of the team left in the office space. Earlier in the day, Jane had settled down in his usual spot on the brown leather couch pretending to sleep, but grinning broadly every time one of the team ragged on Rigsby's phobia. He didn't think he would ever have any true friends again, but his co-workers were definitely the closest people he had now. He admired each in their own way. Lisbon for being so strong and putting up with him. Not an easy thing to do. He didn't want it to be. Rigsby for just being the goofy big brother type-- a big brother who would beat someone up for a friend if needed. Cho for just being-- Cho. And Van Pelt for her beliefs, even if he couldn't believe them himself, and being there for him. She always seemed genuinely happy to see him, sometimes he used that for good, and sometimes for a little mischief. But ultimately, it was her smile and honesty that he admired about her. That smile hadn't been around much the past day or two. He didn't know why, but he assumed it was an anniversary of some sad event in her life. Anniversaries had their own way of causing pain. She'd taken her jabs at Rigsby, but not with the same glee as the others. She was trying to hide her pain, but she couldn't hit it from him.

"Grace Van Pelt?"

Patrick stirred slightly when he heard the unfamiliar voice, but kept his eyes closed and his position on the couch steady. He could tell the voice came from a man, probably mid 30s, cop, and from his tone, he had to be bringing bad news for Grace.

"Yes." She replied. "Can I help you?" In front of her stood two men in slacks, button down shirts and ties. On their belts were police badges. On their faces, somber looks. Her breath caught in her throat. Being a cop herself, she knew what this probably meant. One of the men, tall, blond hair with a slight scar on the left side of his face, carried a box with a few items in it. Immediately, Grace recognized them as her sister's.

"Ma'am. My name is Jason Copola. This is my partner Sam Dixon." The man speaking, Jason, was taller than the one holding the box. He had dark hair, dark eyes. Grace watched his eyes scan the room, fix Jane, hesitate, then back to her. "Is there any place we can speak in private?"

"This way." she replied as she stood and led the men to one of the interrogation rooms.

Twenty minutes later, Van Pelt slowly walked back to her desk, placed the box on the floor, sat in her chair, and tightly gripped the two pieces of paper in her hands. One was a blue flier. The other a white note. She realized Jane was sitting on the edge of her desk inches from her, curiosity getting the better of him, but she didn't care. Her limbs felt numb, her skin cold, and her throat dry, threatening to close. She was lucid enough to recognize that she was going into shock, but too far gone to care.

"Van Pelt. Look at me."

She heard him. Heard the concern, the worry, but she didn't do as he said. How could see look at him? Now? None of it made any sense.

"Look at me." Jane ordered more firmly this time. Despite herself, she obeyed. What Patrick saw in her eyes froze him. Sadness. Loss. Confusion. Anger.... Anger at him. Something else. Something he couldn't place.

No-- he could place it. He knew exactly what it was, but he just didn't want too. He felt his stomach tighten.

"Van Pelt, We've got to move. I just got a call about an apparent suicide, but--" Lisbon, coming out of her office, stopped mid-sentence when she saw the scene in front of her. Jane, sitting one leg on Van Pelt's desk. His gray trousers matching his vest. His white shirt rolled to his elbows and buttons opened at the neck. Van Pelt's face, she could swear, was almost the color of Jane's shirt. "Ok. What's going on?" She asked. She knew Jane could be a pain in the ass, but had no idea what he could have done to upset Van Pelt so.

"We're back and baring pizza." Rigsby announced, walking in carrying 3 large pizza boxes.

"And look--" Cho started in after him carrying a two liter drink. "Rigsby didn't melt." His rare smile faded, however, when he saw Jane, Van Pelt, and Lisbon. "What's going on?"

"That's what I'd like to know." Lisbon responded. "Jane, what did you do to her?"

"I'm not sure." He replied, uneasy with the feeling of not knowing. He wasn't used to it. "Grace?"

With all eyes on her, Grace felt the walls closing in. She couldn't take anymore. Didn't want to be there. Quickly, she stood, clutched the papers tighter in her hand, and turned to her boss. "I'm sorry. I have to go."

When she turned to leave, she nearly ran into Jane blocking her way. "We can help you, Grace." He assured. "Just stay calm and--"

Hearing his words, Grace's eyes flashed up to him. The fury conveyed matched her fiery hair. "Don't you dare pull your mind trick BS on me."

"I'm not--"

"She killed herself!" She cried, shoving the blue paper into Patrick's chest, pushing him out of the way, and ran out of the shrinking room holding the white paper tightly to her chest.

Patrick uncrinkled the paper and instantly recognized it.

Do you have questions?

He has answers.

His rare gift isn't wasted... he's using it for you.

Get all of your questions answered.

Patrick Jane. Psychic.

March 14, 2003

Tiburon Civic Center

Be there for his first televised taping! It will blow you away.

And next to a black and white picture of a younger, smiling Patrick Jane were the words written in blue ink: He really did it! He talked to her!! She doesn't blame me. Not my fault.

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A/N: Ok, a few things. 1. Hi. :) 2. I have most of this story written out so I promise it will make some sort of sense... in some way LOL. 3. This is my first 'crime' fic. We'll see how it goes. 4. I don't know my cities in California. I don't know where Patrick's first taping was, and it's not 'really' important to the story. I tried to look things up, but details about the man's past are hard to come by LOL... SO I did take some liberties. I hope it's ok. This story doesn't really have a 'ship', but mainly deals with friendships among the group. I love them all. 5. This is unbeta'd. My poor beta... I started writing Twilight fiction, then OC fiction... so my beta's been around with me LOL. I'm not sure how she feels about The Mentalist, but I'm not going to ask her to beta... unless she wants. All mistakes are my own. Be gentle. 6. I hope you like this story.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. I wish I did.