A/N: This is a present for tromana, starring Divinia Serit. Enjoy!

Lisbon sat in her office, finishing writing up her report on the shooting earlier. Everyone else had gone home already and she was left alone with her thoughts. She ran the events of the day through her head again.

"Jane, stay out here," she instructed the blond consultant. He rolled his eyes but nonetheless leaned against the black CBI car, complying with her instructions.

Lisbon strapped on her Kevlar vest and put her earpiece in her ear and her microphone on her wrist so she could communicate with her team. She approached the side door of the warehouse and motioned for Rigsby and Van Pelt to cover the other exit. Cho was next to her.

"On three," she instructed into her microphone, "one, two… three."

She kicked open the metal door and entered the supposedly abandoned warehouse; her gun ready and Cho close behind. Lisbon and Cho scouted out most of the warehouse and soon Lisbon received a crackling response from Rigsby.

"Clear, boss," Lisbon kicked at a metal tin on the floor in frustration. They had tracked the bastard, where was he?

"Lisbon!" a muffled cry came from outside and Lisbon's head snapped up.

"Jane!" she exclaimed, sprinting towards the exit and back to the consultant, who sounded like he was in distress. She skidded to a halt as she exited the warehouse: Noah Hudson had his gun pressed firmly to Jane's neck and Jane looked petrified.

"Mr. Hudson, please lower your gun," Cho spoke calmly but Lisbon knew that her friend and colleague was just as scared as she was.

"No! You killed my wife!" Noah Hudson screamed, waving his gun at Lisbon before pressing it against Jane's head.

"Please calm down, Mr. Hudson," Lisbon pleaded, "your wife is alive. A man attacked her and she is in hospital. She is not dead, and we did not hurt her."

She could see conflicted emotions running through Noah's eyes before his gaze became steely and he came to a decision.

"You will pay for what you did to my wife," he hissed fiercely at Jane. Lisbon frowned as she levelled her gun at Hudson. It was a tricky shot.

Then she found an opening. Hudson waved his gun at the four CBI agents. "Stay back!" he yelled, and as he moved the gun away from Jane's head Lisbon took her kill shot, simultaneously yelling "DUCK!" to Jane.

The bullet hit Noah Hudson directly in the forehead; evidence of Lisbon's extensive training and evening fun of using the shooting range. She holstered her gun and ran forehead to catch Jane before he fell.

She caught him just as his knees buckled and she gently lowered him to a sitting position. "Jane, you alright?" she asked compassionately. Sure, the arrogant consultant irritated her most of the time, but he could be useful and they were close. Just friends though, of course.

"Fine, fine," Jane lied unconvincingly.

Lisbon gently touched a strange shaped bruise forming on his neck where Hudson had pressed the gun's barrel and Jane winced.

"You're not fine;" she grinned at him, "let's get you back to your couch."

"That'd be nice," Jane agreed, grinning at her like a moron.

Adrenaline rush, Lisbon decided.

As she wrote down the main events of the shooting, she remembered Cho taking the serial killer's pulse.

Cho placed two fingers on the bleeding man's throat. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

"He's dead," he announced and guilt spread through Lisbon as she remembered his children: two young girls, Stephanie at seven and Tracie only five. She remembered their expressions when they had told them that their 'mommy had gone to heaven' and the fall of both their faces. She remembered the sadness that washed over her when Tracie ran after her as she and Cho were leaving, tugged on her sleeve, looked up at her with piercing blue eyes and asked,

"When's mommy coming back from heaven?" Stephanie had been the one to pull Tracie back by her hand and tell her:

"Mommy's not coming back," while the tears rolled down her cheeks.

"Can I go visit her then?" Tracie had asked Cho, with the innocence only a child can possess.

Lisbon put her head in her hands. She did not want to have to tell them that their daddy had died too.

That was not a sentence she wanted to say.

There really was no way to 'break it gently' no matter what anyone said.

The announcement of a death was a harsh slap in the face however one delivered it.

Lisbon was shocked out of her reverie when her phone rang and the display lit up, displaying the number of the woman from autopsy.

"Hello?" she spoke to hide her emotions, and her voice was devoid of life and happiness.

"Agent Lisbon, we have just finished our examination," Dr. Sarah Price informed Lisbon. "We found sign of a struggle; there was DNA under Mrs. Hudson's fingernails. We have sent it up to forensics."

"What about the bullets?" Lisbon asked the medical examiner.

"Twenty three in total;" Dr. Price replied, "two in all of the girls, one to the head and one to the heart except Mrs. Hudson. There was one through her forehead…"

"One in her right eye and one in her heart," Lisbon completed the sentence. She remembered seeing the gruesome looking Aliciah Hudson when they found the body; she had pitied the woman. It could not have been a nice way to die.

"Forensics found Flunitrazepam or Rohypnol in her system," Dr. Price added, "and there are signs of sexual assault but the only DNA we have found seems to be her husband's."

"Why would he rape her?" Lisbon asked confusedly.

"Her killing was almost identical to the other girls, except she received one more bullet," Dr. Price answered.

"Thank you, Dr. Price," Lisbon said and hung up.

She leaned back in her chair and interlocked her fingers together and mulled over the discovery. Why would a man rape his wife?

She jumped when her phone rang again. She recovered herself and picked up the black receiver. "Agent Lisbon."

"Agent Lisbon, its Quinn Abrams," the forensic scientist spoke.

"Quinn!" Lisbon smiled. Quinn and Lisbon had been friends since college criminal analysis; contrary to popular belief Lisbon had once been a cheerleader. Not by personal choice, but after being cajoled by Quinn for a semester she'd tried it out and actually enjoyed it.

"The DNA under her fingernails? It didn't take long to match it," Quinn informed Lisbon. "It belongs to Noah Hudson."

"Crime solved then," Lisbon sighed. At least some of the guilt evaporated for killing Noah Hudson. It wasn't just a worthless shooting.

"Why?" Quinn asked.

"I shot him earlier. He held Jane hostage," Lisbon explained in a few words as possible.

"Oh, okay," Quinn replied, "do you want to talk about it?"

Quinn knew what the answer would be. It was always the same.

"I'm fine, Q but thanks for offering. I'll be fine by myself," Lisbon answered, appreciative of the pretty blonde's offer of help. She got ready to put the phone down. "Good bye."

She replaced the receiver in its cradle and sighed.

She'd go it alone.

Like always.

A/N: Feedback is much appreciated!