I do not own the mentalist and am making no profit from this work of fan-fiction
Please note that this is significantly less fluffy than my other Mentalist fics . . .
I talk to my wife all the time.
"Hey Baby. It's late. I can't sleep. Is that what you're doing, sleeping? I like to think of it that way – and tomorrow I'm going to wake up and you'll be in the kitchen squeezing oranges, and you're going to say, I had the strangest dream last night. And I'll say, that must have been some dream, because I could hear you talking in your sleep and it kept me awake. Every time I would start to drift off, I'd hear your voice. And you'll say, sorry about that, and I'll say, no, I didn't mind, really. And I don't mind. I would rather be with you than – I would rather be with you . . ."
In the end, the CBI caught Red John off a tip Lisbon discovered, a relative of Hardy's who claimed to have met him once. Jane isn't sure he can forgive her for that. She had it and she kept it from him, no doubt hoping to keep him safe, to keep him from going off the rails.
If you try and do violence to him, I will try and stop you. If you succeed in doing violence to him, I will arrest you.
So, she had made her choice. And he is happy for her – no, really, he is. He has watched her wavering, in the past years, between her belief in the law, and the attraction of his own particular brand of justice. And she has chosen the side of the righteous. He's proud of her.
He invites himself over to her house. He brings a bottle of wine he's guessing she won't drink. (She is suspicious of beverages offered to her, now. It won't help her). She is wary as she opens the door, but she still lets him in; perhaps she is tired of fighting.
It has to be her apartment, because her brain will remember how easy it was before, and she will feel safe. She won't resist. And she doesn't.
Tragedy is clean, it is restful, it is flawless . . . in tragedy, nothing is in doubt and everybody's destiny is known. That makes for tranquility.
The reason is that hope, that foul, deceitful thing, has no part in it. There isn't any hope. You're trapped.
- From Antigone, by Jean Anouilh as translated by Lewis Galantiere.
I'm going to count backwards, he says. Ninety-eight, ninety-seven, nintety-six.
Shh, Lisbon. Ninety-five. You're relaxing. Just like before. Remember how good that felt? How peaceful? You can go back to that moment, can't you, Lisbon. Ninety-four, ninety-three . . .
It would be nice to tease her again, maybe ask her something embarrassing (do you ever imagine . . .) but unfortunately, he's not in a teasing mood tonight.
I'm going to ask you some questions, and you tell me the truth. Like we're in court, okay? Will you tell me the truth?
Okay, says Lisbon, her voice faint.
Good, that's good. You helped them catch Red John?
They arrested him yesterday?
So where is he now?
She hesitates. A hypnotized saint is still a saint.
Remember, you're on the witness stand, Jane prompts. Can you see the lawyers? You're looking at the jury. Where is he now?
He's in overnight holding. At central booking.
Good, good, Lisbon. Good. And how do you get into central booking, hmm? You have a pass to get in?
Yes, says Lisbon, her voice soft. I can sign in.
Good, says Jane. So, we'll go to central booking and sign in. He closes his hand around her wrist.
She is shivering – he helps her into her coat, buttoning it up the front for her like he is getting a child ready for school. It is this thought that allows him to continue, this thought and the memory of a certain bright pink jacket with square plastic buttons.
When we get inside, you tell them that you need to speak with him for a second. Show them your ID. Tell them his lawyer will be joining us, okay? If anybody asks any questions, you just tell them to call Sam Bosco. We just need to buy ourselves a little time –
They will be watching on the cameras, but Jane doesn't care about that. Okay?
Okay . . .
Ninety-two, says Jane. Ninety-one. Her eyes glaze as she sinks into a deeper trance. Last time, he remembers, she slumped against his chest, but this time he thinks ahead and loops one of her arms around his neck to scoop her up. She doesn't weigh very much, he notes. He holds her head against his shoulder as he makes his way to the car.
"Hey Sweetheart, me again. It's really late, I know, I'm sorry for bothering you. Am I keeping you up? I hope not. I just haven't been sleeping. Funny how it happens. All day long I'm so tired, I pretend I'm lying in bed next to you, I close my eyes for just a second on the couch at work and when I wake up an hour has passed – and then when night comes and I get into our bed, I just lie awake all night. Hmm. Well, say Hi to Peanut for me, okay? Tell her daddy loves her. No, I can't talk to her right now. No, don't put her on, it's late, she should be in bed. Yes, I'll talk to her tomorrow. I should go, I'm still at work – no, I won't stay up too late, don't worry. Goodnight. Love you."
Okay, Lisbon, time to wake up. We're here.
She comes out of it slowly, her eyes blinking. He helps her out of the car, locks the doors behind them and then tucks the key into her pocket. Ready? He waves a hand in front of her face but she doesn't track the movement. She is still under. C'mon, honey, let's go. We're going inside.
Her voice is hesitant, testing the answer. Okay?
Okay. For no reason that he understands, he takes her hand and twines his fingers with hers. He gives her a reassuring squeeze. She walks slowly at his side, and he wonders what she sees: the rain-soaked parking lot, or some happy private place of her own? He hopes the latter. He would like to make her happy, for a moment at least.
The night clerk looks at him suspiciously, but Jane stands back. He hopes there will not be any trouble. It is tricky getting someone to lie under hypnosis.
Lisbon plays her part, her eyes expressionless. Her signature, Jane is interested to note, does not match her ID. But her face still matches the picture, so the clerk points her wordlessly towards the overnight holding cells.
Come along, my dear, says Jane. Lisbon offers no protest, shuffles after him. Later the clerk will describe this scene perfectly, in court.
They come to a long white hallway, flanked by a row of barred doors. The furthest cell is the one he's been waiting for.
He takes her hand and leads her to the corner. She is calmer when he is touching her, but if he moves away he feels her anxiety rising again. Gently, he takes her by the shoulders and turns her around, with her back to the room.
Stay here, okay? She makes a soft, unhappy sound, but the trance is so deep, she cannot refuse him. He strokes her shoulder, gently. Good girl, he hums. He knows she will never forgive him for this. He does not expect her to. He just wants to leave her with one good memory.
You're in a safe place, Lisbon, he whispers in her ear, molding himself against her back. You're standing on the beach. He comes around to face her, staring into her cloudy eyes. A safe, happy, place. Can you hear the waves? The crying of the gulls? Picture it so clearly that you can taste the salt.
Her expression clears. Yes, she says. She trusts him. She trusts him. He lifts her chin, leans down to gently press his mouth to hers. This far under, she is slow to respond, but eventually he feels her press back against him, give a quiet hum of pleasure. He strokes her soft, smooth cheek, presses gentle kisses against her lips, her temple. He realizes, for the first time, maybe, that he loves her.
Don't listen to anything but the sound of the waves, he tells her, hating how quick his own breath sounds. When you wake up, you're going to feel at peace, okay? Stroking her shoulder, he turns her back around. Stay here, he whispers. Be good.
The man in the cell is just a man, an ordinary looking person that you would pass on the street and think nothing of. His face is perfectly empty.
I'm going to cut him open and then watch him die slowly, like he did with my wife and child.
Jane – says Lisbon. Her voice sounds far away.
Shh, Teresa. Shhh, don't ruin it.
"Hi Sweetheart, I'm here – I'm sitting right next to you. I guess after all this time there's only one thing I really wanted to tell you, in the end. Even if you answered me, just once, there's only one thing I would say, out of all the words in the world . . . I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry . . ."
Jane has her gun, he took it from her dresser before they left. It is not a butcher-knife, but it will have to do. And he has nowhere to go – just a fish in a barrel. It is too easy, after all this time.
He has only precious seconds to spare before the guards burst in, tearing him away – too late, too late. Jane is laughing as he is wrestled to the bloody ground, high-pitched, hysterical laughter. One of them grabs Lisbon's shoulder and hauls her around, but her eyes are blank, her face is blank, even when they try to shake her awake.
Jane makes no effort to help them revive her. The beach is so beautiful this time of year.
Let her sleep.
I go to my rock bound prison, strange new tomb –
Always a stranger, o dear God
I have no home on earth and none below
Not with the living, not with the breathless dead
- Antigone, by Sophocles (trans. by Robert Fagles)