A/N: My new multiparter! As I've finished Better and I couldn't wait to get started on another. I really shouldn't as I have my Secret Santa gift to be writing. But hey, since when do I stop when a plot bunny bites? This is the moment when I fully admit that I'm a complete slave to them.

This is a not-so-secret-Secret-Santa gift for twin (Divinia Serit).We had a bright idea that it'd be a 'clever' thing to do, because obviously neither of us are writing enough right now. I'm sure the prompts she's given me will inspire more than just this though. So… yeah. Keep an eye open.

Thanks to my unofficial beta, Miss Peg, for casting a quick eye over this.

x tromana

Title: Entropy
Author: tromana
Rating: T
Characters: Jane/Lisbon, Team
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summary: Entropy. Chaos. A state of decay. Lisbon can only watch as Jane spirals into insanity.
Notes: Not-so-secret-Secret-Santa gift for twin (Divinia Serit).

"Ten perdu, jhamai se recbro." (Time lost can never be regained.) - Medieval Occitan proverb


Part One - Fairy Lights



A state of decay.

It's the reason why brick walls will inevitably crumble down over a passage of time.

Why your fairy lights come out tangled after a year has passed, even though you swear that you organized the strands neatly a year before, just after Christmas passed.

Patrick Jane reckons that, by now, his fairy lights must be very tangled. He hasn't had a reason to drag them out and make his house festive for years and can't see any reason in the future why he'd need to do so either. It isn't that he doesn't care about Christmas, it is more of a case of not having anyone to celebrate with which put a damper on his spirits. Besides, it is out of season anyway and he has no idea why the hell he is even thinking about Christmas and those little fairy lights anyway.

Oh yes.

Latest victim. Twelve year old girl. Has fairy lights hanging from the ceiling in her bedroom. Typical fashion statement of any young lady her age. They don't believe that such a pretty thing as twinkling lights had such a thing as seasons.

He glanced over at Van Pelt. Yes, she was definitely the kind of girl who would have done that too. Probably still does, just in her kitchen or maybe lounge, around a photo collage of her college friends. She probably smiles wistfully every time she glances at it too. The red-head is hard at work, tutting and sighing while Rigsby and Cho toss a ball lazily around the office.

It's been quiet, without Lisbon. No one else is quite so willing to engage him in arguments or just that gentle banter. Nobody else has the confidence to berate him either - it seems they think that he's a lost cause or it's a waste of energy. He'll just disobey or 'forget' or something like that sooner or later, so what's the point? Sure, he can tease the others and irritate the hell out of them, but none of them are quite as much fun with it. Besides, they're all too 'busy' working hard, making sure they get everything done before she gets back.

In short, it's been a boring fortnight without her.

Until that newest case was dumped on them, that is.

Lisbon's back tomorrow, but they're getting started on it anyway. No point in waiting - there's grieving parents to speak to, shell-shocked friends to carefully withdraw information from. There won't be any secret boyfriend hidden somewhere, the one that Dad doesn't approve of because he'd get in the way of her studies. She wasn't old enough for that. But she won't ever be tidying her bedroom or sneakily staying up late and watching movies again. Never mind being the star (in Mom's eyes, anyway) in that dance recital that was slated for next week.

Bit too late for all that now.

She won't be getting that degree, doing a doctorate, getting married, curing cancer. Or any of those little hopes and dreams that Daddy had for his little girl. All destroyed in the blink of an eye.

And Jane knows how that feels all too well.

It's not a feeling he likes to focus on, but that doesn't stop it from being omnipresent. Always at the back of his mind and unrelenting in its cruel savagery. What do you call a father without a child? Is he still a father? Or did he lose the right to call himself one the day he lost his wife and child? Does the world not think he's suffering enough so wishes to mock him by stripping the one title he felt most honored to receive? He still loves his daughter, terribly so. Not a day goes by when he wishes that she were still there with him. Given the chance, Jane knows he would change places with her in a heartbeat. Let his beautiful, precious little girl flourish and grow while he rots beneath the soil instead.

His daughter would have been twelve by now too, if she'd been given the chance to live. If Red John hadn't mercilessly killed an innocent out of petty revenge. The bouncing blonde who would probably have adored their latest young victim's bedroom, right down to the stream of multicolored fairy lights that had twinkled down upon them as they scoured the room for any clue. Any hint as to why the girl's life had been cut short before she even had the chance to bloom and grow into an inevitably beautiful woman.

The only reason he knows and is therefore thinking about the fairy lights at all is because they visited the parents first, rather than the body. Mainly because they don't know where the body actually is. Lisbon is not going to like that when she gets back in the morning.

Just a foot.

Just a foot with Red John's trademark smiley face daubed on it in the victim's blood.

She's going to like that even less.