Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Pairings: Not really, but maybe a teeny, tiny bit of Jisbon, if you squint.
Spoilers: Major spoilers for Season 1 finale and a few references to other episodes.
A/N: The first few paragraphs are in general POV and the rest is in Lisbon's.
It was official. Today was going down on Lisbon's list of really, really shitty days. The silence in the room was only broken by the snapping of the handcuffs that she attached around the man's wrists. She focused fully on the task as if to shield herself from the horrible truth she was facing. The distraction was short-lived however and so, ever the professional she turned him around to face her, praying that her composure would hold.
The man did not look at her. His gaze was fixed on a point on the floor, where his victim had fallen just minutes before. His eyes held no venom, no regret, no emotion at all. She read him his Miranda rights. He nodded once to show he had heard and understood but he never once looked at her. It was like he was willing the earth to stop moving, just so he could stay where he was, rooted to the spot.
She called for her team. Told them to take him back to the CBI but not to begin an interrogation until she arrived. She would question him herself. Rigsby and Cho stepped forward each taking hold of a forearm. She watched them escort the man out of the room and a hatred she had never known before seemed to radiate from every part of her body. He would pay for what he had done today. He must be punished for the pain and suffering he had caused.
In the back of a car, the man sat quietly with his head against the window, watching. He watched the EMT's flitting in and out of the building. He watched them enter it with a stretcher. Watched them emerge a few minutes later with the same stretcher, burdened with a long shape and covered by a white sheet. Watched them load their cargo into a van.
I have to remind myself to keep breathing. In, out, in and out again. Whatever happens in there, I must stay in control. I must be calm.
I open the door to the interrogation room. The man is already there, sitting calmly at the far side of the table. He smiles at me as I enter, triumphant, not a hint of remorse to be seen.
I want to throttle him right now, or better yet, shoot him where he sits. But I won't do that. I'm not like him. Instead, I take a seat opposite him, trying to stare him down as I do so. He keeps on smiling. "Hello, Agent Lisbon," he says. "It's good to see you."
I do not deign to reply and so we sit in silence. I study his features, committing them to memory, like he is a stranger whom I've never seen before. But I do know the man. Blonde curly hair. Blue eyes. A smile that could stop traffic. A three-piece suit.
Patrick Jane has finally achieved what he swore to do seven years ago, almost to the day.
I honestly thought I was getting through to him. Two years ago, I was sure I'd had a real breakthrough. We apprehended one of Red John's numerous accomplices. That one man could have answered all of Jane's questions. But when Dumar threatened me, Jane killed him. In a split second, he made a life-changing choice. He sacrificed his one lead to Red John to save my life. I was sure that Jane had changed. I was so sure.
But as I look at him now, I can't see a trace of the man I once knew. Sure, he looks the same as ever but I know that the Patrick Jane I worked with, argued with, laughed with and cried with isn't there anymore. There is no warmth in those big blue eyes and that smile that used to make me go weak at the knees seems forced, cold and it just doesn't feel right.
He eyes me curiously as I finally realize that I have been staring. Desperately, I try to pull myself together. I have a job to do. I flick my eyes downward to the sheaf of paper that I brought in with me. It feels like someone else is speaking as I read the charges that have been laid against him. I remind him of his right to legal representation. He declines. He gazes at me once more as he waits for me to continue.
The problem is, I have no idea where I'm gong to start. There are so many questions that I need answered and I can't figure out which ones I want to ask first. And so we sit. To anyone watching, this must seem like the strangest interrogation in history, but I just so feel so wrong-footed by the whole affair that I can't seem to sort out my thoughts.
He says nothing. In every other interrogation we've done together, Jane always jumps in the second I stop talking. It drives me mad. I half-expect him to do it now, but I suppose it's a bit different when he's the one under questioning. I guess I can see why he'd be less inclined to volunteer information to somebody who is most likely going to put him in prison for a long time.
"I'm sorry I had to arrest you," I find myself saying. "I really didn't want to do that, but you left me no choice."
"Don't be sorry," he says. "You're just doing your job. I knew perfectly well what would happen when I found Red John."
It's the first time he has mentioned Red John by name during this conversation and I notice it has a different effect on him then it used to. His eyes would blaze and he would act more inappropriately then usual, barging his way into homes, insulting victim's families and generally making a nuisance of himself, chasing down any and every lead that might help him find Red John. The very mention of the name would stir up every murderous, revengeful feeling in his body.
Now, he drops it into the conversation as casually as if they'd just run into each other at the mall. The fire in his eyes gone, he even sounds a little bored with it all. It strikes me suddenly that this is what a man looks like when his reason for living is taken away from him. For all these years he has been operating on a single purpose. But now he has achieved it, what will he live for?
The only good thing about this situation is that it will be quick. I know he will give me a full confession today and he will plead guilty at the trial. He won't care what happens to him from here because he thinks that nobody else does. He'll just become a number in the prison system and fade away into obscurity. He will disappear off the face of the earth, and nobody will even notice that he is missing.
But I will notice, and so will my team. It hurts me that we are not enough of a reason to keep him from carrying out that ludicrous revenge plan. I really thought that we meant more to him than that. The same anger I experienced at the crime scene flares up again as I think about that. I hate him for what he is putting me through right now. But I hate myself even more for letting myself care for him when I always knew he was going to cause me pain.
This is the man who sat with his eyes covered, trying to guess what my birthday presents were before I opened them, the one who wanted to know what my face felt like when I was smiling, the one who called me the good witch Glinda, the one who persuaded me to do a trust fall with him and the one who said he'd have bought me world peace if he could, but that the casino gift shop had only a limited selection.
It makes me wonder if I ever meant anything to him at all, or if all that stuff was just a smokescreen to trick me into helping him find Red John. Maybe I simply fell victim like so many others, to the oh-so-charming smile and mind games that he's so good at.
Strangely, I can't quite bring myself to believe that. Even now, I still have faith in the man I call a consultant, a colleague, and hell, even a friend. I take another deep breath. I need to get this interview started; I can't put it off any longer.
After we're done with the official interview, I'll have them turn off the tape and leave us alone for a while. There are some things I need to know, off the record and I don't think I'm going to be able to get through today unless I find out. But first things first.
"Patrick Jane. Did you kill Derek Richardson, otherwise known as Red John?"
He looks me straight in the eye, and for a millisecond I think I see a flash of sadness, as if he knows how much he's going to hurt me by what he's about to say, and is sorry about it. But as quickly as it came, it's gone, and he's smiling once again.
My interpretation of what will happen when they finally catch up to Red John. It's going to be a difficult time for everybody and I'll be interested to see how it all pans out. I'd love to hear your thoughts, criticism etc so please review!