Okay, here's the last chapter. I really enjoyed writing this, though it was hard. And I have only seen one Season Three episode of The Mentalist, so I had to go back and watch a few season one episodes on my DVD to get a feel for the characters again. Hope this doesn't disappoint!
I own the characters I've created. That's it.
"You have to find them!" Sheldon stated again as the two cops and himself entered the apartment he shared with Leonard.
"We're working on it," said Agent Van Pelt, attempting to calm the strange man. "We're trying."
"No, no, that's not good enough! There is no try, you either succeed or fail. And as of right now, you're failing."
"We're working on it," said Agent Rigsby. "Our team has the highest clearance rate in the state; we're doing all that we can."
"Cleary, you're doing a poor job. If it wasn't for two apparent professionals falling victim to their primitive biological urges, Leonard and Penny never would have gone missing. I'm putting full blame on the two of you."
Van Pelt sighed. Yes, it was their fault, and it wasn't the first time they'd let their on and off relationship affect a case they were working on. She knew it was unprofessional, too. It really did suck when your personal life and work overlapped.
She jumped out of her thoughts, looking over at Rigsby, who raised an eyebrow at her. "Sorry, what?"
"Give me a hand with this couch?"
Van Pelt circled the couch and lifted the end, herself and Rigsby scooting it backwards a foot or so. "Nothing under here," she said.
"Is that really necessary?" Sheldon asked. "Moving all of the furniture around?" He stood next to the end of it, frowning.
"We'll put everything back," Rigsby assured him.
The look on Sheldon's face was one of horror. "What else have you…oh, God." He ran toward the bedrooms.
"This is probably the strangest case we've ever worked on," Van Pelt said, glancing down at her feet. "Eureka!"
"What?" Rigsby asked as she bent and picked something off of the ground. "What is it?"
"A cross," she said, holding it up. "I have this same one."
"Is it yours?" he asked.
"No," Van Pelt said, reaching inside her vest and withdrawing a cross identical to the first. "Here's mine. This is another one."
"Could it belong to Dr. Hofstadter or Dr. Cooper?"
Van Pelt shook her head. "They're studying string theory and dark matter and…other stuff; I don't think that, even if they are religious, they'd have these things lying around. Diests, at most."
"Hmmm. You think the killer left it here, then?"
"Wayne," Van Pelt said slowly. "Could this be motive?"
"What do you…?" Rigsby cocked his head.
Van Pelt held a hand up as she pulled her phone out of her pocket with the other one, dialing and holding the phone up to her ear.
"Van Pelt. What do you have?"
"We found a cross in Dr. Hofstadter's apartment."
"And it doesn't belong to them?"
"Unlikely." Van Pelt held up the cross in questioning as Sheldon re-entered the room. Yours? She mouthed. Sheldon looked at it and shook his head. Not anyone's here, he mouthed back, exaggerating his words. "No, confirmed negative. I was thinking that the killer might be angry about the work done in Geneva. Some of the tests done there could, to some extent, be considered 'playing God'."
"Then why wouldn't they go around killing people who are working in cloning?" Lisbon asked.
"Well, Boss," Van Pelt said after a moment's thought. "There's a lot of different careers that threaten Christianity; it just depends how strongly you feel about it."
"Boss," said Rigsby, taking the phone from Van Pelt. "If they feel like finding those particles in the collider would disprove Creation, then wouldn't the work being done in Europe be the most threatening to Christianity?"
"It's possible," said Lisbon. "Keep looking; I'll get Cho and Jane to work on Warden a little more, see if we can get more out of him. Good job."
"Thanks, Boss," said Rigsby, hanging up and handing the phone back to Van Pelt.
"Dr. Cooper," said Van Pelt, putting the cross into an evidence bag, "has Dr. Hofstadter or yourself ever received angry phone calls or letters regarding your work?"
Silence. "Dr. Cooper?" Van Pelt questioned, sealing the bag and turning around when he still didn't answer. She found him standing next to the couch, frozen, eyes darting about. "May I ask what you're...?"
"Shhhhh!" He hissed, putting a finger to his lips. Van Pelt stopped talking, raising a finger to her own lips to silence Rigsby when he entered the room a moment later. After a few more moments, Sheldon darted out into the hall.
"It's really dark in here."
"Yeah, it is," Leonard agreed. They couldn't see a thing. "And you don't have to whisper, Penny."
"Oh, right." She let out a giggle. "I've just gotten used to it."
"How's your arm?" he asked.
He couldn't see her roll her eyes in the dark, but he knew that she did. "It's fine, Leonard. Just as fine as it was ten minutes ago. And ten minutes before that."
"You're making those numbers up," he accused. "You have no way of knowing how long it's been."
Suddenly, a sound came from one of the walls that made up the elevator shaft. A tap. Then another. Then another. Then a voice. "Leonard and Penny?" Tap, tap tap. "Leonard and Penny?" Tap tap tap. "Leonard and Penny?"
"Sheldon!" Penny screeched, jumping up. She slipped and fell back onto Leonard, who had been trying to rise. He fell backward and she landed on top of him. "Sorry," she said as they scrambled up. "Sheldon!" she shouted, knocking back on the wall. "We're in here!"
"I know that!" came his indignant voice. "I wouldn't have summoned you from here if I didn't know that's where you were. I could hear your annoying jibber jabber from the apartment."
"Don't you just love his Vulcan hearing?" Leonard said to Penny, wrapping his arms around her waist again.
"Are you guys okay?" came another voice-a female voice.
"Agent Van Pelt!" Penny said. "Can you get us out?"
"We'll head down to the first floor," called Van Pelt.
Leonard and Penny waited, Penny shaking in relief, as they listened to the sounds of people running down the stairs. When the sounds stopped, Leonard called out. "Are you here?"
"Hang on," came a male voice. "Van Pelt, give me a hand with this."
Leonard and Penny heard sounds of things being dragged, metal on metal, and then, suddenly, their dark space was flooded in light. They were in the lobby, well, sort of. The first floor stopped at their waists, they were actually standing on a surface a few feet below that. Just above them, on the first floor, stood Van Pelt, Rigsby, and "Sheldon!" Penny shrieked, putting her hands on the floor and vaulting herself up. "Ow," she said, almost as an afterthought as she rubbed her arm. Standing up, she threw her arms around the theoretical physicist.
Behind her, Leonard crawled out of the shaft and entered the group hug. Penny and Sheldon each adjusted an arm to go around him. "I was worried about you guys," Sheldon admitted.
"Aw, that's sweet," Penny said. She stepped back. "Have you figured out who it is yet?"
"We may have a new lead," Van Pelt said. "We're checking it out right now."
"Good," Penny said.
"Come down to the station and we'll catch you all up," Rigsby offered. "We'll be heading there in a few minutes."
At that moment, Leonard and Sheldon realized that they were still hugging. They jumped back, startled.
Policeman Gerald Cranmer took a drink of his coffee, frowning at the coolness of the liquid. Ever since his insulated mug had broken – unbreakable, his ass – his coffee never stayed warm the entire morning. The only way to drink all of it when it was warm was to guzzle, and then he'd have to pee part way through his shift. He glanced down at his Patrick McManus book, a favorite from his days of growing up in the states. Well, his boss was the Sneed of Geneva police; he'd know for sure if Cranmer took a bathroom break when he was supposed to be driving around.
He was contemplating pouring the rest out of the window of his squad car when his radio crackled to life. "All available personnel, report to the Large Hadron Collider!"
"Thank you," said Agent Lisbon, nodding even though the person on the other end of the line couldn't see her. She glanced up at where Penny, Leonard, and Sheldon sat and nodded to them. "Uh huh. Yes, we'll keep in touch. Thank you. Okay. Bye." She hung up, rose from her seat, and walked over to where the trio sat. "Okay," she began. "This morning, well, very recently, morning in Geneva, a man was caught trying to bomb the Large Hadron Collider."
"What?" Leonard and Sheldon said in unison.
"A man by the name of Gerald Cranmer made the arrest, and upon interrogation, the man revealed that he was working for a man by the name of Ethan Sommers, who had instructed him to destroy the 'God Defying Device'."
"Ethan Sommers," Leonard said, shaking his head. "Never heard of him."
"He's a religious extremist who was born and raised in Massachusettes. That's all we know about him. His last known location was in Great Falls, Montana, two months ago. Apparantly the man caught in Geneva was bribed and then threatened by Sommers to attempt to damage the Collider. Sommers doesn't want any scientific experiments of that type being performed."
"Will you find him?" Leonard asked, his arm around Penny.
"We will. He can't stay hidden forever."
Patrick Jane lay on his couch, staring up at the stain on the ceiling. Today, it looked like the Flash…or maybe the superhero obsession of the people of the recent case was causing him to fall victim to power of suggestion. That was a weakness he'd have to overcome.
"Excuse me?" Came a voice. Jane tipped his head, seeing a rather short, skinny man standing in front of him. "Hello, sir."
"Hello," Jane said. "Do I know you?"
The man shook his head. "No, you don't. I…I was at the airport this morning, coming in from Helena, and I saw this lying on a table." He held up a laptop. "It says 'L.H.' on the top, and I thought it might be the laptop that was listed in the paper last time I visited here. The one stolen from that physicist. It said…said something a-about a reward…?"
Jane looked at the man curiously. "Um…yes. Yes, just wait right here." He motioned to the couch. "Sit."
Jane made himself walk slowly down the hall where he knew Lisbon was. "Lisbon," he hissed.
"Yeah?" she asked him.
"Sommers is here."
"What?" Lisbon looked confused. "Where?"
"How do you know?" she asked.
"Simple," Jane said. "I put an add in the paper, for a laptop with the initials L.H. on the top, that was missing, and I'd give $2500 for the return of it. Figured that would be enough to flush him out, since his original motive was shot to hell." He glanced over his shoulder. "And he said he flew in from Helena. Helena is in Montana, just like his last known location. Think about it, Lisbon! He's a nervous man, just the type to get someone else to bomb the Collider for him. And now that his accomplices are in custody, he figures he can come and get a little money off the return of the laptop, as there was nothing useful on it."
"Well, maybe he did find it."
"The L.H. initials are very small," Jane said. "No one would notice that in passing. And it's been six days since the attempted bombing; he may feel more comfortable coming now."
"I'm on it," Lisbon said, convinced. She slipped her gun out of its holster and marched back down the hall. "Ethan Sommers! FBI!"
"Thank you so much," Penny said once more as the agents left the apartment later that day. "So much."
"No problem," said Lisbon. "We're just glad you're all okay."
Penny impulsively hugged Agent Van Pelt, pulling back and smiling at the rest of them. "We really appreciate everything you've done."
"It was all me, really," Jane started, and Lisbon swatted his arm. The group laughed.
When they had gone, Penny turned and smiled at Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj. "It's over," she said happily. "All three are arrested."
"They still have trial," Leonard reminded her. "We'll have to see them again."
"I don't care," said Penny, kissing him. "We'll bust them; no way they don't get thrown in prison for a long time!"
Sheldon shuddered. "I hope they don't mind urinating in public."
Hope you enjoyed it! Sorry if the ending felt a little rushed.