Disclaimer: Well this is the end and I still own nada.
A/N: That's right folks, final chapter here and it's quite lengthy. Took me awhile to write something that I thought fit well with the mood of the story. So it's not all happy lovey dovey but it has it's moments and I think that's what matters. The ending killed me...seriously I thought I'd die of old age before ever finding something suitable for the last few paragraphs so I'm hoping it doesn't seem too rushed because I really don't want it to be that way but at the same time I left it kind of open. Okay, I'm just going to stop trying to explain and let you read it.
BIG THANKS to every single reader, everyone who has ever reviewed, alerted, or added to favorites. I would love to hear what each and every one of you thought of the story so feel free to leave a review or PM me if you like. I don't mind a bit.
Something felt warm against his face, dragging Jane out of the short amount of sleep he'd managed. It was Lisbon's fault. He'd been worried about her through the night, watching her toss uncomfortably and scared that in the process she'd injure herself further. He didn't know how she was even capable of tossing with the ribs and missing spleen but she did. She'd finally stopped just a short time ago by settling against him.
The warmth that woke him was the sun shining through the curtains and he let out a little groan to show his disapproval. Squinting for a few seconds and blinking rapidly, he tried to clear his vision enough to read the clock on the bedside table. After the blurry red numbers finally came into focus, he groaned again and smacked his dry lips together in an attempt to wet them.
His mouth felt really dry, something he wasn't used to and he tried to remember the last time he'd had any source of blood – the morning Anella had given him hers. About five days ago, no wonder he felt as though he'd gone a week without a drink; he pretty much had. He'd been too busy at the hospital with Lisbon to sneak a snack but he didn't feel the usual clench in his stomach that signaled he needed some form of sustenance.
He probably never would have noticed if it hadn't been for the cottony feel in his mouth. Tightening a cautious arm around the form lying at his side, he closed his eyes and vowed to attempt a few more minutes of quiet and no movement.
A sound startled him, a gurgling noise and when it came again he realized that someones stomach was growling. Chuckling a little at the revelation, he waited for her to stir knowing that she would wake if she was hungry. It wasn't until the silence was interrupted by a louder gurgling that his eyes flew open in shock. Her stomach wasn't growling. With a carefully placed nudge, he attempted to wake sleeping beauty.
"Teresa, do you hear that?" The woman flung across his chest burrowed herself deeper into him and moaned a complaint at being woken up but he wasn't sorry. He needed to know that she heard it and that he wasn't just imagining things. It'd been three days since the death of Red John, since he'd almost lost Lisbon and since the water had failed to turn him back into a mortal. What did this sound mean? He hadn't heard it in eight years. His stomach hadn't made such a noise since he'd been turned. "Teresa wake up. Listen."
"All I hear is your stomach growling. Go eat something." With a grimace and wince of pain, she rolled away from him.
"Think Lisbon; since when does my stomach actually growl? What do I eat?" Her body turned rigid the moment it registered in her brain and she shot him a hopeful look over her shoulder.
"This-this means it worked doesn't it?"
"I don't know. Let's not jump to conclusions." He could already see that her eyes were lighting up at the possibility. He didn't want to get his hopes up but he had to admit, it was a little odd to all of sudden experience stomach growling after eight years without it.
"Do you feel hungry for actual food?"
"Pancakes sound really good...so yeah, I think so." A smile lit up her features, as well as his when she moved to lie on her back and stare over at him.
"Patrick..." Her hand reached towards the side of his face, brushing over his jaw and the warmth felt incredible. He couldn't let himself believe that anything had changed. "What about the...the uh, teeth?"
Concentrating on the thought of blood - his usual meal - led to a ache in his mouth. He felt the lengthening and sharpening of his canines but the achy feel wasn't normal. He still had fangs though and that meant he wasn't human.
"Maybe we should call Anella, she might know what's going on."
"Yeah, why don't you go heat up that omelet you didn't finish last night and take your meds while I call?" He didn't want her to hear the conversation because he was afraid of what would be revealed and he knew the longer she was awake without taking something for pain, the more she was going to hurt.
"Help me up?" Her injured ankle wouldn't heal as quickly unless she stayed off of it but convincing her of that was pretty much impossible. He'd taken to helping her up and being her leaning post when she needed one instead of pestering her about obeying doctor's orders.
He thought about saying something a few times but kept his mouth shut and realized that if he told her that she couldn't do it then she'd end up pushing herself harder which would lead to more injuries. He was fine with helping her out of bed.
In an easy fluid set of moves, Jane walked around to Lisbon's side of the bed as she sat up. The outstretched arms wrapped around his neck when he stooped down to grab hold of her hips. It was easier to pull her up this way rather than by her hands; it was less painful for her and although she could get out of bed on her own quite well, he didn't mind her asking for help.
A groan of discomfort and a wince were the only signs that she wasn't a hundred percent when she was standing on her own. Just for support, he kept a hand on her hip until she gave him a little nod that told him she was fine. Only then did he let her move away without trying to stop her. He had the urge to insist on helping her with the stairs but she'd managed them fine on her own the day before and had felt rather proud of herself for it. He didn't want to take that away but he did find himself moving to the doorway to watch her just in case.
She moved slowly and a few times she stopped for a minute or two but she made it down without any complications and he saw the proud smile that she turned to give him once reaching the bottom. No, he wouldn't take that away simply because he worried about her and besides, she had to do it on her own eventually anyway even if it did cause her some pain. No matter how much he hated to see her with that expression on her face – that scrunched up expression that told him she was hurting – he had to let her do things on her own or she'd probably end up kicking him out of her apartment for hovering.
He had other things to do at that moment anyway. The phone call that could change everything needed to be made so he could understand why his growling stomach wanted pancakes instead of blood and why he still had fangs.
It felt a little like eavesdropping but Lisbon could hear every word that Jane was saying and although she couldn't hear the other end of the conversation, she was assuming it was not going so well. His voice kept rising and by the time she had finished up the omelet, he was almost yelling. If there was one thing she knew about Jane it was that he hardly got angry enough to end up yelling at someone. He was more of the play calm and cool to piss the other person off even more. The rare times she'd seen him yelling about anything always had to do with the loss of his family and the sick bastard that killed them and turned him into a monster.
Ignoring the ache shooting up from her ankle and the pain radiating from her side, she forced herself up from the chair at the table while still in the process of swallowing the meds she was on. She wasn't sure what exactly was going on but judging by the way she could clearly make out what Jane was saying, she managed a guess. Despite knowing he probably wanted the conversation to be somewhat private, she moved to the stairs to listen in. She'd gone from overhearing to eavesdropping willingly but she wanted to know what was going on.
With each step, she conquered another stair with a grimace. Why did walking up stairs hurt so much more than walking down them? It was a rhetorical question but a question that ebbed into her mind nonetheless as Jane barely contained himself from shouting the words coming from his mouth.
"No Anella! I will not do that to her!" Lisbon knew he was talking about her. There was something he wouldn't do to her but the only thing she could think of was if it helped him somehow then she'd willingly volunteer. "I don't care. I can't..."
She wasn't even to the top of the stairs and yet she could hear that he paused to take a breath. He was trying to calm himself down; he was afraid she'd hear him but it was too late. She already had and there was nothing he could do about it. She heard his voice again as soon as she pushed herself to overtake the final stair. The burn she was feeling had worsened into a painful stretch and pulling sensation that made her want to curl up in a ball and refuse to move but she toughed it out to get closer. He was almost whispering now and she couldn't make out the words - she needed to be closer.
With quiet steps, she crept closer to her bedroom door. It was almost closed but still open about a half inch - it gave her the cover she needed to remain unseen but able to watch as he paced by the bed. It was wrong of her to be listening in and spying but she knew if she didn't then he wouldn't tell her anything since it clearly involved her and he didn't seem to like it.
"I almost killed her when...I just can't do that to her." Her stomach dropped at the desperation and sadness in his tone. He sounded so defeated and with careful eyes, she saw him slump down on the edge of the bed with his phone pressed to his ear. She honestly couldn't care less if he was human or not. He was Jane and that was all that mattered but she knew he'd give anything to be human again and she wanted to help. "As long as she's safe then I don't care what happens to me."
Tears sprang to her eyes even though she had no idea what he meant by that. It'd just sounded sweet and to be honest, it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said about her. She blamed the pain meds for her emotional state and decided later she'd be angry at him for sounding so overprotective. She was fine and would remain fine; she could take care of herself but in that moment he just seemed sad and his words were heartfelt.
"Are you sure it's the only way?" Lisbon couldn't hear the answer but she knew by the way he ran a hand over his face with a ragged sigh falling from his lips that it was indeed the only way. Whatever 'it' was. "And if I don't do it then how long do I have?"
Her mouth dropped open immediately upon hearing those words leave his tongue. What the hell did he mean by that? How long did he have? Was he dying? Oh god, what if it instead of giving him human life, the water had somehow taken all life away? No, surely that wasn't the case. She'd probably just misinterpreted, that had to be it. She couldn't even think about losing him like that - well she could, but she hated it. He was Patrick Jane and she's somehow ended up kind of falling for him; he couldn't just leave if there was a way to stop it from happening.
"A week? Okay...no, I told you that's not an option. None of this is guaranteed anyway - you said so yourself. I'm not going to hurt her for a slim chance that it might all work out." With those words, she somehow knew exactly what he needed. Her heart started pounding at the thought and her hand flew to the thin scratches on her neck as he muttered a quick goodbye and then threw the phone towards the nearest wall.
The sound of the impact startled her, making her jump and suck in a sharp breath. She couldn't keep hiding and she wasn't going to give him the option of hiding either. Lisbon was not about to run away and pretend that she hadn't heard mostly everything. With a quick second to collect herself, she pushed open the door. He didn't see her right away since his head was buried in his hands but when she sat next down next to him with a sharp intake of breath, he whipped around to face her. He looked different yet the same. It still all felt like some dream, still so hard to believe that vampires existed and he was one. Shocked her even more that Van Pelt was too, but that was a thought for another day.
Tentatively resting her hand on his thigh, Lisbon let her head drop to his shoulder with a sigh. He didn't move and that made her even more wary of the things she planned to say. He wasn't going to be too happy but he could get over it.
"So, what did she say?" She'd give him the option of being truthful before cramming her willingness down his throat.
"She's stumped; she has no idea what's going on." The first lie always stung; something she'd learned long ago and this time is no different but she was not going to let him get away with it. If he was in the process of becoming human once again and there was something he needed to do to make it happen then she wanted to know.
"Please don't lie to me; I heard everything Patrick. She knows and so do you." Something in the air shifted and she turned her face up towards his. The look in his eyes showed something akin to shame and that only cemented her suspicions. "S'okay Patrick. You need human blood to completely turn back don't you?"
"It doesn't matter what I supposedly need. I'm not human; it didn't work."
"You can have some of mine."
"No." The tone of his voice was bordering on anger and that's what confirmed her theory. He didn't act shocked or say that it wasn't necessary; he just flat out refused.
"So I'm right then? You need the blood. Is that what Anella said?"
"Teresa, leave it alone. I'm not going to hurt you." WIth a growl, Lisbon leaned back on the bed and tugged him along with her. He tried to mutter a protest but she caught his lips in a heated kiss before he could. Her head hit the pillow and she felt the ache in her mid section flare but it was ignored as she nipped his bottom lip. He was infuriating; he wasn't giving her the choice to help and while it wasn't something she would jump for joy to do, she'd do it for him.
He was the one to pull away and it wasn't all that surprising given he probably realized that she was trying to distract him enough to get him trailing kisses down her neck. She could feel the fangs still and all it'd take was one little love bite to pierce the skin and he'd be unable to resist but her plan was faulty.
"What happens if you don't drink human blood?"
"What happens if you were to stop eating and drinking? I'm not human so food won't cut it but I'm no longer able to survive on blood of animals either - according to the legend." Eyes widening, she gripped him tighter but he held himself over her so he wouldn't cause any aggravation to her injuries. She didn't even notice them at that point but the ringing that presented itself in her ears after hearing him pretty much confess that he'd die wouldn't stop. She couldn't let that happen to him. He wasn't a monster. No matter what he thought of himself there was no way she'd ever see him as a monster. He didn't kill people; he drank mostly cow's blood for crying out loud. He had hurt her before but it wasn't his fault and she didn't hold it against him.
"Patrick, I'll do it. How would it be any different than me donating blood?"
"Yes you can. You'd be an idiot not to; you're this close to being human again and I know that's what you've wanted for so long." She was to the point of pleading, stroking her fingers through his hair and lightly pushing against the back of his head to steer him in the right direction.
"I don't - stop, please stop it." She ignored him knowing that he couldn't pull away due to the need for what lurked beneath her veins. She wasn't going to let him be stupid and practically starve to death just because he was a vampire.
"Just do it. You're not hurting me; I'm willingly offering because you deserve to have a life again." Jane's breath felt hot against her neck and she could tell that he'd closed his eyes and was trying desperately to move off of her. She tilted her head to the side a little more and shuddered when his lips pressed to the column of smooth skin. For some strange reason, she actually felt a little excited as well as nervous and the position they were in left her feeling a more than just a little warm.
She wouldn't lie; she was a little scared of the whole being bitten thing but when his mouth opened against her neck, she ignored the acceleration in her pulse. It was needed and it could be the key to him being human again, in her book that made it worth the endurance of something so taboo. Partly, she didn't think it was actually happening and then she felt the press of his teeth against her sensitive skin. It wasn't pleasant, they were sharp and it stung even though he hadn't pierced the flesh yet. She had to remind herself why she was letting him do something like that and the urge to pull away diminished a tiny bit.
Only a little though because the impending fear of feeling pain was still lingering but she held him tightly in place despite that small detail. This was about Jane, not her but he didn't seem to think so. He was still struggling and it took only seconds for the feel of his teeth against her neck to disappear - replaced by a soft kiss to the same area.
"Dammit Jane, bite me." The pleading in her voice was heard loud and clear. She felt him stiffen but he seemed content to just nuzzle her and she was not okay with that. "You may consider yourself a monster but I don't and I really don't want you to starve so just do it. If it works then it's definitely worth it and even if it doesn't...well, we'll know we tried everything."
"You are one stubborn woman. If you're sure..."
"I am." It didn't escape Lisbon's notice that he hadn't lifted his head from it's place at her neck. Her guess was that he couldn't handle looking her in the eye but she wasn't actually sure why.
"I'm so sorry - this is gonna hurt at first." A gulp filled the air and it took a minute for Lisbon to realize the sound had come from her. He'd confirmed her fear and yet for some reason she felt better than before. He was going to do it; he was actually going to drink from her and while the thought sent her stomach on a churning fit, it also made her strangely happy. He'd live and she was sure that he'd be a living, breathing human being again. Her gut was telling her that this would work. "I'm sorry..."
The stab of guilt that reverberated through her body for making him do something he didn't want to was cut short by the feel of his sharp canines once again pressing into her skin, but this time there was force behind them; it was a lot more uncomfortable than just a few moments ago. Her lips parted on a slightly pain filled gasp as she felt the first prick of his teeth piercing her neck. A louder, more pronounced, strangled sounding cry was tore from her when that first stinging sensation turned into a full on wave of fire as she felt him sink his fangs all the way in. She wanted to scream but couldn't get the sound to come out and her body felt too paralyzed to do anything more than tense beneath him.
All the reasons she'd coerced him into something like this fled her mind and she wanted the throbbing to go away. It burned and hurt and she just wanted it to stop but she didn't say anything. He'd never forgive himself if she said something, so she remained as quiet as possible but she couldn't stop the tears from forming. The intensity of the pain lessened or maybe she just grew used to it; she wasn't sure. It became bearable to the point that she could feel his lips and tongue against her skin, could hear the tiny moans falling from his mouth as he drank. Her eyes fluttered, her body started to numb and the pain became a pleasurable ecstasy that made her try to pull him closer.
The pained sounds that had left her lips were replaced by ones that anybody would confuse with a more sexual encounter and she didn't know why it felt so good but part of her was sad that this would be the only time he'd do such a thing to her. She felt light, a little dizzy, and more aroused than she'd care to admit but it was the weightlessness that had her wondering how much blood he was taking. He didn't seem anywhere close to stopping and it felt very strange to have her blood being literally sucked out of her. At least it didn't hurt anymore; it was oddly pleasurable but just when she let her eyes close, he pulled away abruptly which left her once again feeling the pain from the wound he'd inflicted.
His body jolted away from hers, red staining his lips as he fell to the empty side of the bed. Lisbon would've been startled but her mind didn't seem to want to interpret anything other than the heaviness in her limbs. Her hand made its way up to cover the holes in her neck but there was nothing more than extremely tender raised flesh - no open wounds. It was as much movement as she could handle for a few minutes and it had her slightly confused but she eventually managed to turn to see him.
He looked like he was dead. He wasn't moving at all and his eyes were closed. She didn't even know what to do; she didn't know if she should check for a pulse or not. He was a vampire, did they have pulses? She didn't think so. They were technically dead, weren't they? Or perhaps that was just another discrepancy. This wasn't the time to be questioning things and despite the fog that clouded her brain, she was able to move around enough to press her fingers to his neck. It was worth a shot.
"Jane..." No answer but she hadn't really expected one. "Patrick?"
Something fluttered beneath her fingertips. It was there for a second then gone so she held her hand in place and waited to see if the flutter came back. It did and it was stronger though short lived. It was as if his body was jump starting after lying dormant for years. In her mind that meant it'd worked but then why wasn't he answering her?
"Patrick," There was a moan that came as an answer and it was good enough for her. She wiped the remaining blood from around his mouth and gave him a soft kiss on the forehead. There was a twinge in her body that made her want to fall back and sleep for a week but she ignored it and the pain in her side. Everything else felt numb again; she couldn't feel pain from her neck although it was definitely tender to touch and even her ankle felt better.
The fangs were gone, she could feel a pulse and her ankle felt better - all in all, she thought something had definitely happened. He was human, he had to be. It was the only explanation and when his eyes opened, she greeted him with a tired looking smile. She felt so tired.
"I think it worked Patrick. I think you're human again." He didn't respond but his hand caressed her cheek for a short second before sliding down to the marks on her neck. His fingers barely brushed along the skin but it had her flinching. His lips moved silently and then two whispered words cut through the air.
"S'fine. Doesn't hurt unless you touch it and don't look so guilty. I let you." She wanted him to tell her whether or not he felt like he was still a vampire but he was just staring at her and she was so close to falling asleep. She could barely keep her eyes open even though she wanted to see her neck; it still felt wet and sticky with blood despite the wound being closed. "Did it work?"
"I-I don't know. I feel different, I still want pancakes, and I can't get my teeth to lengthen. Am I really supposed to believe it was that easy?"
"I believe." If she wasn't so lethargic, Lisbon would've made a comment about her bones feeling like jello but she didn't have the energy and Jane seemed to realize that as soon as she fought to keep her eyes from closing. "It makes sense, kind of. Needing human blood to be human."
"I took more than I should have, you're weak. I'm sorry, Lisbon."
"M'fine, just tired." She almost added 'and cold' but decided that probably would only worry the man and honestly she felt fine. In fact she felt better than she had before since her ankle didn't seem to be aching and the pain in her side seemed to be dull. She felt floaty and her thoughts were slower than normal but she ultimately felt fine.
"I uh, I should let you get some rest." Lisbon knew from the tone of his voice that if she let him get up, he would only convince himself that he'd hurt her in some way and while yes, it'd hurt like hell to start, she wasn't feeling any serious pain at the moment. Her arm wrapped around Jane's middle to keep him next to her and with as much energy as she could muster, she snuggled her body into his. He was warm and she could hear his heart beating. It sounded beautiful.
"Stay with me."
"I'm hungry remember?" There was a loud growl from his stomach to back up his words but she didn't care.
"Stay with me a few more minutes and then you can go make pancakes. Banana pancakes sound good." Her words were slurring as sleep pulled at her but she fought long enough to halfway prop herself up and capture his lips in a lazy kiss. It was nothing extravagant but just a meeting of mouths that left her feeling as though things were still good between them even if he was trying to take the blame for what he'd done. It was technically her fault since she'd done everything but force him and she didn't regret it. "It feels different to kiss you knowing you're human."
"We don't know that. This could be some strange after effect."
"I believe Patrick and you should too but if you want then we'll just take it a day at a time and see how it goes." There was hope shining in his eyes and she knew how badly he wanted it to be true but he was stuck thinking it was all just too easy. She didn't think so. It seemed legit and if one really thought about it then they'd understand her point of view. It took a lot for him to consider using her as a donor and that had to be hard on him. So really it wasn't easy at all and it'd been almost a week since they'd been submerged in water that was supposed to be mystical enough to change someone from a vampire to a human - it still sounded crazy.
"A day at a time. Maybe we should clean up, I'm sorry I..."
"Shh, I'm not sorry and we can shower later." She probably looked like something out of a horror movie with blood drying on her neck but she really just wanted to sleep and she'd wash up when she woke properly. Her sheets were probably ruined with red but there were more in the closet.
"Then rest, I'll be here. Waited eight years to actually want food, what's a few more hours?" That was the ticket and his words seemed light enough that Lisbon rested her head back down on his chest and let the sound of a beating heart lull her. They were both still a little in shock by what had taken place but she was sure that when it wore off, they'd celebrate his return to mankind. Even if it was temporary it deserved a celebration and she just knew deep down that it wasn't some coincidence; it was real and he'd believe too eventually.
Her last thoughts before drifting off to sleep involved what the future would hold for them now and how their relationship would only strengthen after she'd offered herself to help him and he'd been willing to die instead of hurt her. He definitely wasn't a monster and in her eyes, he never had been. She'd freaked out when he showed her what he was but really, who wouldn't? And in her defense, she'd recovered rather quickly and nothing changed. He was still Jane, she was still Lisbon and it'd always remain that way no matter what the future held for them.
After a three day camping trip involving vampires, Red John, magical lagoons and being poisoned, Lisbon was pretty sure the world could throw anything their way and still they'd come out on top. Bruised and maimed a bit but they'd make it. The only real question was what they were going to do with the rest of their time off of work.
a/n: That my friends, brings this story to a close. I pretty much left things open to interpretation but in my mind, he's human again. I just didn't want to type it where he just believes all of sudden so he's still merely hopeful and Lisbon is the believer. It took me forever to manage an ending that I was happy with so I'm hoping you all enjoyed it...at least a little bit. And now I shall say farewell to a story that I dearly loved writing. I might take on more AUs they're actually really fun. Ciao, off to work on other stories. :D