A/N: First things first, I would like to apologise for any myocardial infarctions I may or may not have been responsible for at the end of part ten.
Thanks to: WildDaisies10, Jadestar1981, lgmtreader, yaba, Ebony10, ch19777, mtm, Divinia Serit, 0meltingsnow0, Frogster and HOUSEMDFanForever for reviewing part ten.
So, here's the final part. I'm er... going to hide over there now. *ducks*
Part Eleven - Entropy
It's the smell that hits her first, that overly clean stench of a building which uses far too much disinfectant. It smells as if the whole place has been dunked into some enormous bucket of the stuff and left to soak for twenty four hours, at the very least.
Lisbon takes a deep breath and pushes the swinging door open, entering with some level of trepidation.
She always feels more than a little nervous whenever she's in this place.
Her heels click against the parquet floor, like sharp, staccato points digging into her subconscious. She's relieved when it stops, if only for a second, so she can shake the medic's hand. The man greets her in the same place, at the same time, once a fortnight. This has become part of her routine now.
Despite the fact that she knows it's for the best, she still feels terribly guilty for shutting him up in here.
After all, one of the things they've both always shared is that mutual loathing of hospitals and medical institutions in general.
"How is he?"
She tries to sound as nonchalant as possible as she brings up his condition with the doctor. But she wants, needs, to know if there's been any change, good or bad, before she actually sees him.
"I'm sorry, but there's been no change, Mrs. Jane."
Twisting her mother's wedding band around her ring finger, she nods sadly. She's had to lie to be able to see him regularly. Simply saying that she's a friend, his boss, even attempting to use her badge and stating that he was central to some investigation of theirs would have never been enough to grant access to his secure rooms at this rather posh mental institution. So she bends the truth, quite significantly, just so she can get updates on his condition. For her sanity as well as the rest of the team's.
Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho would hate not knowing almost as much as she would. Despite everything that happened, they were still holding it together by a shoestring, but only just.
When she sees him, dressed in a traditional hospital gown, legs crossed and staring at a wall with fervor, her breath unexpectedly hitches.
After all, she blames herself for driving him back to the brink of insanity.
If only she'd been more patient, more understanding, more caring. If only she hadn't reacted so violently to such a ridiculous thing as a slap. If only she hadn't been stupid enough to break up with him when so much hysteria was going on around them.
Carefully, she places a hand on the glass window providing a view into his room, a tear finally breaking past her defenses and spilling onto her cheek. The doctor wordlessly passes her a tissue; he's seen this scene play out before him a countless number of times. Lisbon nods in gratitude and whispers her thanks, but doesn't tear her eyes away from the scene playing out before her.
Jane's been given a pencil; it's less dangerous to give him a writing implement than have him spill his own blood to write with. However, it's blunt and barely shows up against the magnolia wall, but that doesn't stop him writing.