9

The Bloody End

"Those are my parents." Caroline said, handing Patrick the picture.

"You look just like your mother. But you have your father's eyes." He said, smiling. She nodded.

"Yeah. I wish I could remember her. My dad used to tell me about how great she was. But…it's one of those 'you have to be there' things," She said. "I wonder a lot about how it would have been if she wouldn't have died when she had me. I wonder if she would have liked me. Or if I would have turned out different. Or if we would have hated each other like all the other teenagers I see." She finished quietly. Patrick shook his head.

"Anyone that had the privilege of giving birth to you would never hate you, Caroline. They would love you. And they would be so proud of you." He said. She shook her head.

"How do you know?" She asked.

"Because I've only known you for four days and I am both of those." He said. She blushed.

"Maybe you need better taste in friends." She said. He chuckled.

"Or I need to get over myself, considering you are me, according to my comrades." He said. She laughed.

"Jane," Lisbon said. "They're here." Patrick grinned and stood.

"C'mon, Caroline." He said. Caroline's brows creased and she followed him.

"What's going on, Patrick?" She asked.

"I want you to meet some friends of mine," He said. "I think you're going to like them."

"Why are you so ominous?" She asked angrily. He smiled.

"Because it annoys you ever so." He said, still grinning. She followed him silently out the doors, her eyes never leaving the back of his head.

"Caroline," He said once they reached the parking lot. "This is Mark and Kelly." The couple smiled at her.

"Hi." She said. She grabbed Patrick's arm and spun him around.

"Who are they Patrick?" She asked. Her face was angry, but her eyes were scared.

"Relax," He said calmly. "They've been friends of mine for many years now. Kelly can't have children, but she and Mark have always wanted a child. A daughter, to be more precise."

"So…so they..?"

"They want to adopt you, Caroline," He said. She bit her lip, glancing at them. He touched her cheek, turning her attention back to him. "They won't hurt you, Caroline. I wouldn't let you go with them if they would. I've been friends with them for almost twenty years. And I can tell you that Kelly doesn't have a mean bone in her body. In fact, I think she can be a little bit of a pushover. Mark is just as nice. He's never raised his voice to anything smaller than him, and he's a big guy. And if they do anything, anything to hurt you, or abuse you at all, you can call me."

"Patrick, I don't know…" She said quietly.

"No one's going to hurt you anymore, Caroline." He assured, smiling slightly.

"When am I going?" She asked. He shrugged.

"Now, if you'd like." He said. She sighed.

"If I don't go now I won't at all. I can't keep being afraid all the time." She whispered.

"I'll get your bag, you go talk to them." He said. She hesitated.

"Go on, it's okay." He prompted. She took a deep breath and walked toward them.

"Hi, I'm Caroline…" Patrick turned and walked into the office.

"So, she's really going?" Van Pelt asked. He nodded.

"Yep," He said. Van Pelt sighed. "You're actually going to miss her."

"I hate to admit it. But yeah, I am. She's a cute little thing."

"But she's too much like him," Rigsby said. "That's why she's gotta go. I can't handle two of them at once."

"You did for the majority of the week." Cho said.

"And that's all I can stand."

"I'll miss her," Cho said. "She was funny. She made fun of you a lot. I like her." Rigsby scowled at him.

"All of us will miss her, in some small way." Lisbon said.
"Very small." Rigsby mumbled.

Patrick hoisted her bag over his shoulder.

"I'll miss her," He said. "Very much."

"You had your own Mini Me for four days, I'd miss her too." Lisbon said.

"She's also a great girl. She's going to do so much for this world. And I can't wait to see her do it." He walked out of the office, slowing as he walked out of the doors. She was laughing, and Kelly and Mark would too. She looked up, saw him and ran over.

"So, what's the verdict?" He asked.

"I like them," She said, grinning. "They're really nice. And smart. I think I'm gonna like them."

"Then why are you about to cry?" He asked gently. She hugged him.

"'Cause I'm really gonna miss you." She said, her face in his shirt. He hugged her back.

"I'll miss you too," He said. "But Mark and Kelly live right here in Sacramento, so you can see me whenever you like. And I don't care what time it is or when it is, if you need to talk to me you go ahead and call me."

She let him go, sniffing. He handed her her bag, wiping a tear off of her cheek. She looked over her shoulder at Mark and Kelly.

"I think I can be happy, now." She said.

"I hope so." He said.

"I'll take your bag, Caroline," Mark said, coming up behind her. She handed it to him. "You take all the time you need, okay?" She smiled and nodded.

She turned back to Patrick.

"Promise me something." She said.

"Anything."

"When you catch Red John, I know you want to kill him for revenge…But I think him getting the death penalty in a court of law would be better. Or incarceration for life. Being in a tiny box for the rest of his life, unable to speak to anyone ever again, left to think about all of the horrible things he's done. And you would be the one to put him there. I think that would be better than just killing him, Patrick." He looked at the ground.

"I'll do my best." He said. She wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him tight.

"Thank you, Patrick," She kissed his cheek. "For everything." She turned and walked toward Mark and Kelly's car. Kelly wrapped her arm around Caroline's shoulders.

"First thing's first, we are going to get you some new clothes. These things look like you've had them since you were twelve." She said. Caroline laughed.

"Well, I have." She said. She turned, smiled one last time at Patrick and got in the car. Patrick smiled and waved.

As the car drove away, he felt something in his hand. He looked down, wondering when Caroline put it there. He opened his hand and gasped, tears filling his eyes.

His wife's wedding ring glinted up at him.

THE

END

--Thank you all who followed this! This was my first Mentalist story and you guys made me feel so welcome in this community, and i thank you all God bless you and I hope to write more adventures with Patrick Jane in the near future!--