Chapter 19: The Bitter End
One week later...
Patrick Jane stood at her gravestone, flowers in hand. An uncharacteristically cool wind blew through the cemetery causing the leaves on the large trees to move rhythmically and the clouds to scurry across the graying sky. He'd been standing there for what seemed like an eternity, but he knew it couldn't have been more than fifteen minutes. Every time he looked at the name written on the gray granite, his heart ached and he had to fight for the ability to breathe.
He knelled down and placed the mixed array of different shades of purple flowers on the ground next to her tombstone. Purple had always been her favorite color. If he'd allowed himself to cry, he would have then. But he didn't. Crying would get him nowhere. Crying when sad didn't do anything to alleviate the pain, and crying when happy didn't make any kind of sense.
At least he wasn't numb any more.
He gently raised his fingers to touch the letters carved on the rock.
J A N E
"I got him." Patrick told his wife, rubbing the carved letter of her name. "I finally got him. I'm sorry it took so long. Things just... things just didn't turn out the way I thought. But you should know that Red John finally has a name. He finally has a face. And he finally is getting what he deserves. I promise you that."
Patrick turned and leaned back on the marker between the names of his wife and daughter and closed his eyes. He pictured the events that had transpired the week before.
He remembered the black haired man on top of him, taunting him, toying with him... rubbing it in that he had killed his family, and that he would kill his friends too. He remembered Lisbon saying that Grace wasn't breathing. And he remember Lisbon herself being kicked to the floor in a sickening thud by the same man who dared put a gun to his head.
He could feel the gun in his grasp as he fought him for control of it, and he could still see Simon James' eyes, black and unholy, looking down at him. He could still hear the gunshot ringing through the living room. It had happened so quickly that even his brilliant, quick-witted mind couldn't comprehend what had happened. He didn't know who was shot, and he didn't know who had been at his door. It wasn't until moments later when the door flew open and in ran District Attorney Frank Copola with a uniformed cop by his side that he remembered that there had even been someone knocking. He would learn later that the D.A. had been there to ask him questions about his involvement in his son's death.
Patrick saw the man he could only think of as Red John smile brightly, much to brightly for a dying man, at him. Red crimson began oozing down through the creases of mouth and pool on Jane's white button-up shirt. "See ya later." the serial killer promised before his eyes rolled back in their sockets and his head slumped down, nestling in the crook of Jane's neck.
He remembered being frozen, unable to move the dead weight off of him.
He remembered hearing Lisbon's voice yelling at the DA to call 9-1-1....that there was an officer down, and he remembered the uniformed cop rolling the limp body off of him. With Red John's body no longer on top of his, Jane continued looking at the ceiling at a certain spot that reminded him of a spider. It wasn't a spider, of course, as it didn't move. But he kept looking. Kept waiting for the relief he'd lived for every since his family was murdered to come rolling into him.
It never came.
Then the he recalled that, from the dense fog clouding his fuzzy mind, the officer with the DA saying that he had a pulse. 'He' meaning Red John. Jane used all of his strength to roll over and push the young brown haired officer from Red John's vicinity. He couldn't remember what he'd yelled, but he knew it was along the lines of leaving that bastard alone to die. That he deserved it and the world would be better off without him.
It was the DA who had pulled Jane off of the officer and had forced him to sit in the leather chair parallel to the shooting victim. He told him to sit there and let the EMTs do their work or he'd have the officer arrest him then and there. Jane had just laughed at him, asking if he really thought that would stop him. But it was Lisbon who spoke up and told Jane to just shut up and let the EMTs do their job. To hell with Red John, but Grace needed help now. His quest to make sure Red John was dead would not interfere with help getting to Grace.
By the end of the ordeal, two ambulances had left the home of Patrick Jane. Each carrying one critically injured patient. Neither had much hope of survival.
Jane rested the back of his head on his family's tombstone and took a deep breath. In the past week, neither Grace nor Simon James had died. Physically, Grace had improved dramatically and would be released within a few days. Emotionally, however, was another story. He was told that when anyone else went to visit her, she'd be brave and strong. Her parents had even flown in from Iowa, another daughter the victim of senseless violence. She was a rock for them. The doctors had even decided that she no longer needed a legal guardian. They expected her to make a full mental recovery.
That was publicly.
But when Jane entered, she broke down in heartbreaking sobs and clung to the only other person she knew who could feel the type of pain she did.
"She's wrong though." he told his wife mixing the spoken with the unspoken. "I can't feel what she's feeling. I don't even know what I'm feeling. I do wish I could do more for her. She deserves so much more good in her life than the hell she's going through."
And then there was Simon James. Simon hadn't regained consciousness since speaking those words to Jane. He was alive, but doctor's didn't know when he'd wake up, and no one was entirely sure why he was still out. It was that fact that kept Jane's life in limbo. Unable to move on. Unable to do what he felt he needed to do once Red John was out of his life forever.
Everything was so screwed up. Grace wasn't handling any of it well, and who could blame her? Lisbon was doing her damnedest to keep things together, but it was like Humpty Dumpty. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put the team back together again. Cho was still harboring anger at Rigsby for not calling in the 9-1-1 for Copola. To that end, Rigsby was in deep trouble with the D.A. for tampering with evidence at the Copola crime scene. And Jane.... Jane just couldn't seem to care about what would happen to him.
He raised up and turned to his wife. He missed the days when he could touch her warm, soft skin not the smooth, cold headstone. "I'm sorry I don't come here more." he said gently. "I'll try to do better. It's just hard. You know. It's just--" he felt his throat close up and decided not to finish that train of thought. "I'm sorry I haven't brought you flowers in years. I know they were your favorite, and you used to say how sad it was to see a tombstone with no flowers. Like no one cared. I'm sorry for not showing you how much I cared-- how much I do care." He kissed his fingers and lightly laid them on the engraving of her name. He did the same to his daughter's beside her mother, whispering "I love you, baby."
Jane stood and wiped the dirt from his light brown pants. He removed his coat from the rock revealing the third name on the stone. Patrick Jane 1970-. He casually wondered when he would get to join his family under the dirt.
Misty Dixon's steps was a little more tender than usual as she made her way through the hospital corridors. The police had called her survival through Red John's attack a 'miracle'. Oh it had been a miracle all right.
The stab wounds hadn't been that deep, not near as deep as her husband's. Easy enough to recover from. In fact, she'd gone back to work only three days after the murder/attempted murder. The grieving widow was the card she had played, and played it well. Funny how her co-workers doddled on her. Asked her if she needed anything now that the jerk was in the ground, but when he had been alive.... when she had came in to work with badly concealed black eyes, no one said anything to help her. Not one.
It was nearing 11 pm when she rounded the corner of the hospital with her medicine tray in hand. Her raven hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail and she was dressed in light pink scrubs. Everyone had said how much they admired her for being back so quickly after Sam's horrific death. Inwardly, she laughed. It would only have been horrific if she had loved him. If she hadn't seen it coming. If she hadn't done the job herself.
Sam Dixon had been a bear of a man in his heyday. He'd beaten her like a rabid dog, many times for nothing more than she'd fixed his coffee wrong. At the department, Dixon had been a celebrated cop, a man who brought pride to the badge. At home, he had been a plague to the human race. Misty had plotted Sam's death for years, starting on their wedding night when he'd knocked out her front tooth on the end table. Rough sex he'd called it. With veneer in place, Misty had taken it upon herself to do what had to be done with that evil man.
She thought it was just luck when a year ago he told her that his new partner was Jason Copola. She recognised Jason from the tape of the psychic show starring Patrick Jane. She had been an avid student of Patrick Jane every since she was twenty and the swami had told her that, among other things, no man would never beat her again like her father had. Oh, how he'd been wrong. She'd listened and married Sam even though her gut was yelling no. In her mind, Patrick Jane had been at least partly to blame for her abuse. When she saw Jason, she decided to kill two birds with one stone.
It had been at Misty's persistence and promises of explicit sexual favors that Jason had agreed to help with the 'suicides'. He'd had his own past with Jane and knew that he was in fact doing the women a favor. Misty didn't care about the women. Just saw them as a means to an end. Misty had been the one to get the drug used to perform the 'suicides' from the hospital drug supply. It had been Misty who had planned and plotted. It had also been Misty that decided to copy Red John so that maybe Patrick Jane would find out, and maybe he would see the hurt his lies had caused.
When the real Red John had found her, it had been an utter and complete surprise. The first time she had saw him, she had just left Jason's. She assumed that the man in black was going to kill her. Instead, he simply asked to help. She obliged and within a day he introduced himself to Sam as a cousin of Misty's and moved in with them, all the while keeping tabs on Jason, Jane, and the 'suicides'.
She had never meant to fall in love with him.
Love and hate came from the same cloth, however, once she learned that Simon had killed Jason. Jason was another man she'd cared deeply for and to hear of his death was torture for her. It took lots of persuading on his part to get her back on his good side. Luckily for Misty, Sam had been in jail most of that night, trying to set up Jason for the killings, unaware that he was the actual 'suicide' killer.
What she didn't know, what she wouldn't find out, was that it had been Sam who had struck a deal with Simon to kill Jason. Sam had suspected for months of an affair between his partner and his bitch of a wife, and once he accidental found out who Simon James was, well, he took full advantage of it. He re-payed the favor by stalking in the senior agent in charge, Teresa Lisbon's, house and taunting her with her own red smiling face as per Red John's request. The face had been made using Sam's own blood.
Smiling faces everywhere.
Now, after all of that, Jason and Sam were dead. Simon was seemingly unconscious, and Misty Dixon was hopelessly and completely in love. She had to laugh at herself. Maybe the second part Patrick Jane's 'psychic' prediction six years ago had been true, "Misty, you always fall for the wrong kind of man."
"Hey Carl." she greeted the guard at the patient's door. Sweetness and innocents oozed from her posture and mannerisms.
"Hey Misty. How are you tonight?" he asked with genuine concern. Carl wasn't new to the force by any means, but Misty had found out that he had a soft spot for her. She figured it was the sad way she carried herself.
"Can I see him?"
"Now, Misty. You know you can't." He'd already broken the rules for her once. He'd promise himself never again.
"Please. Five minutes. I won't hurt him, I promise. I just need closure, Carl. I just need to see that bastard that killed my Sam. Please."
It had been a piece of cake to enter the room with Carl as guard. She quietly crept into the dimly lit room and made her way to the bed. There was Simon, laying as still and as lifeless as a corpse. "You look dead." she lamented quietly.
"Wasn't that the point?" his mouth curled and his eyes flashed opened. "What took you so long? Do you know how hard it is to keep faking a coma?"
"Oh, you'll live." she said playfully, opening her medicine tray and giving him the clothes she'd hidden inside. "Get changed. We don't have a lot of time."
He gingerly did as she asked, stomach throbbing from being shot. He had enough in him to teasingly slap her backside as he got out of bed. Even while shot, that woman could do more for him than any he'd had before... well any living one he'd had before. All except the lovely Mrs. Jane. No one c ould hold a candle to her.
While he was getting changed, Misty opened the window, thankful that they were on the first floor. It was their lucky day. No one had thought to put bars on the room of a comatose man. Where in the world would he go? It was like it was meant to be.
It wasn't until five minutes later when Carl opened the door and saw the bed empty and both people gone that he started to panic. On the wall next to the window, written in broad red ink, were the words, Better Luck Next Time, Jane. :)
A/N: Um, yeah. In the words of kathiann, don't kill me. All characters aren't mine. All mistakes are. I hope I explained this so it made sense. There were always 2 different stories going on (the suicides and then Red John), but they always intertwined also. Thank you SO much for all the reviews for this story. It has been my favorite to write so far.... yes... there will be a sequel. :)