A/N: This is my first attempt at a Mentalist fic. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Mentalist.
Every day was a performance for Patrick Jane. Lisbon, only guessed at what it took for him to come into work sometimes. She knew he didn't sleep, she knew he had once been fragile, and in a mental health facility. She knew he had lost everything but his fanatical desire to kill Red John. What she didn't know is that every smile was a torture, that some days he had to fight to keep from killing himself that he couldn't let himself feel anything…Feel anything but cold hatred, and rage. Still he managed to come into the CBI office every day, managed to solve cases with his colleagues. Managed to hide just how screwed up he was. Until the other day when that woman…that woman had killed Bosco's team, had poisoned herself, had taunted him, had let Red John touch them even here in the safety of the CBI headquarters. He left CBI late and alone like always. He stopped and bought several bottles of bourbon, and drank almost two of them before he finally passed out. That on top of the tequila they had drunk in the office had pushed him into an alcohol poisoning induced coma, no one knew he was at home, dying from a bender.
He lie there on his mattress as the bloody smiley face mocked him, lay there dying, he didn't care anymore. Red John had won; he was no match for him. He couldn't stand the thought of Red John hurting any more people because of him. He was in and out of consciousness, he remembered crawling to the bathroom to retch, and then back to the mattress to pass out for good. Then someone was there, shaking him, calling his name. Jane groaned, "Leave me alone…Dammit" his words an angry slur. The voice said "Not gonna happen pal." and kept shaking him awake, he felt something cold and wet on his face, shocking him awake. "What the …?" Jane opened his sticky eyes, and saw the blurry face of Kimball Cho standing over him.
Cho had watched Jane closely, he always watched him closely. He knew Jane was shaken by what had happened, knew that he would never admit it to anyone. Cho knew Patrick Jane's greatest charade was the one he played on himself. The illusion he created that he didn't need anything but his revenge, that he was an island, and couldn't be reached by normal human emotion. Cho understood this because he was often guilty of the same thing. He wore his enigma like a suit of armor. So , after the team toasted their fallen comrades, he watched Jane head home, followed him as he bought copious amounts of booze. Once Jane was home safely, Cho left him and went home, to get drunk himself.
When he arrived at CBI the next morning and Jane wasn't there he wasn't too concerned, but as time went on and Lisbon remarked "Where the hell is Jane? We have a case." Cho began to be worried.
"Boss, I'll go to his place and get him, he probably overslept." Cho answered her query. Lisbon looked at him curiously but said "Okay, but hurry up."
Cho got to Jane's house in minutes. The door was unlocked, 'Jane of all people should know better 'Cho thought.
"Jane? JANE?" he called. No answer.
Cho ran up the stairs afraid of what he would find. He knew that Jane was obsessed but he flinched when he saw the bloody reminder of that obsession still on the wall. Jane was lying half on the mattress still wearing the clothes he had on yesterday. There was an empty bottle of Southern Comfort next to him, and half-full one gripped tightly in his hand. His breathing was slow and shallow, he was pale as a ghost and a sheen of sweat covered him. He looked like hell, and he was not doing well. Cho reached down to feel his pulse it was thread, and weak. His breathing was slowing down, he was about to go into respiratory arrest. "Dammit Jane, JANE! Wake up!" Jane fought him a bit but he was too weak to cause a problem. He ran to the bathroom an wet a hand towel; he began wiping Jane's face with it, telling him to wake up. Jane fought him for a minute, but then slipped back into unconsciousness. 'Damn, now I have to call the EMT's' He had hoped to spare Jane the ordeal, but he now had no choice. He reached into his pocket for his phone and called 911.
"911 operator what is the nature of your emergency?" A nasally voice asked.
"Yeah, this is officer Cho of the CBI, I need an ambulance, possible alcohol poisoning. The subject is male in his late thirties, unconscious; pulse is weak, respirations slow…hurry!"
"Officer Cho an ambulance will be there in five minutes, keep trying to wake him." The voice told him urgently.
When the EMT's got there Jane was starting to seize, Cho tried to keep him from hurting himself, but the seizure was quite violent. One of Jane's hands flung out and hit Cho in the face. 'Great he would have a bruise' he thought.
The EMT's were afraid to give him anything for the seizure, but they bagged him and restrained him on the gurney. Cho rode with them to the hospital. Jane's heart stopped once on the way there, they had to shock him twice to get it going again. When they got to the hospital, they rushed Jane back to the ER trauma room. One of the nurses started asking Cho a bunch of questions like "Did he take anything else?" and "Did he do this on purpose?" Cho couldn't answer. He knew Jane had used sleeping pills before, but he hadn't seen any in the bedroom. He heard someone yell," he's crashing again!" and the sound of the defibrillator shocking Jane's heart back into rhythm. Just as Cho was about to run out of there he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. It was Lisbon… 'Crap, what am I going to tell her?'
"Cho." He answered.
"Cho where the hell are you and Jane? We have a case!" Lisbon yelled.
"Boss, Jane isn't feeling well. He won't be in today." 'maybe not any day' Cho thought.
"What do you mean? He's got the sniffles?" Lisbon's tone sounded dangerously curious.
"I think it's the flu" Cho said quickly.
"Okay, well you get your ass here in a hurry." She quipped.
Cho thought ' Whew, she didn't get it out of me' just as he was about to hang up, Lisbon said "Cho, he's all right isn't he?" her tone blew away any hope he had of hiding this from her and he said "No, boss he's not okay."
Lisbon's face paled at something Cho had said to her. Grace said "What? What's wrong?"
Lisbon hung up and told Rigsby "Go tell Minnelli to assign someone else this case. I have to go."
Grace looked at her visibly shaken boss, and said, "It's Jane isn't it? What happened? Where is he?"
Lisbon answered her softly "He's at Sacramento General dying from alcohol poisoning." Of all the stupid ways for Jane to die that was perhaps the stupidest. He knew how she felt about alcoholism, how she had lost her parents to it.
Grace walked over to her boss and put her hand on her shoulder. She said to her "Come on boss, let's go see him." She shot Rigsby a warning glance as he ambled into the room. He picked up the keys to the Yukon and said, "I'll meet you out front."
Grace pulled Lisbon along by the hand and led her to the car." Take us to Sacramento General she told Rigsby.
By the time they got to the hospital Jane had, had two more seizures, but his heart rate was better. The ER doc asked Cho again if Jane had done this on purpose. Cho shook his head no. Lisbon, Van Pelt and Rigsby, walked over just as the doctor was asking. Lisbon looked at Cho and knew he was lying but didn't say anything to the doctor.
The doctor said "We need to put him in ICU for awhile, to make sure his liver and kidneys are okay, and that he doesn't have any more seizures. We had to intubate him because he quit breathing on his own. Basically, he is in a coma right now. He drank so much he nearly succeeded in killing himself. Whether it was on purpose or not, he has a problem and we need a psych consult."
At that Lisbon's eyes narrowed, and she said "He does NOT need a psych consult! He just drank too much. He doesn't usually drink, that's all. It was an accident." The doctor eyed her suspiciously.
"Ma'am I am not sure who you are to , but his records are on file at this hospital, we are well aware of his history of mental illness and the reasons for it. So I find this unlikely to be an accident."
Lisbon hissed "You don't know anything about him! He is a consultant for the CBI and perfectly sane! This was just an accident!"
Cho, VanPelt , and Rigsby exchanged nervous glances as their boss and the doctor had their showdown.
"Whatever the case, won't be going anywhere for quite some time, he will be in the ICU for at least a week, and then in step-down care until we are sure there is no permanent neurological damage."
The hallway grew silent as the words "permanent neurological damage" echoed in their heads.
VanPelt broke the silence and asked the doctor "Can we see him?"
"You can visit him two at a time after he gets settled in his room, which should be in an hour or so. However, please do not get him upset. He may be in a coma but it is a light one and he may hear everything you say."
Lisbon nodded at the doctor as if to dismiss him, he sighed and walked away.
Lisbon turned to Cho and with a cold glare asked him "What the hell happened Cho?"
Cho stared at his feet for a minute. "I found him passed out in his room, he had drunk a lot of bourbon. About one and half bottles." Rigsby whistled at that. "Anyway, I couldn't wake him up and he stopped breathing. So I called 911."
Cho finished what he was saying and stared at Lisbon expectantly. She said "You knew something was wrong, didn't you?"
Cho shook his head. She answered his nod through gritted teeth. "Then why the hell didn't you say something? We are supposed to be a team dammit!"
"I knew he was upset about the Red John thing and Bosco and his team, but I just figured he was going to get drunk and that would be it. Hell that's what I did. I didn't know he was going to do this."
Lisbon softened "I know Cho we were all upset, and probably all of us got drunk last night. It's not your fault, I'm just mad I didn't see it sooner."