Authors Note: Not sure where this came from, it just happened when I was attempting to do research on the diagnosis and treatment of 3-6 year olds. Much harder than it sounds, trust me. Thanks to lgmtreader for the beta, and to bujyo for the encouraging words.
Spoilers: Specifically for 1x05 (Redwood), 1x10 (Red Brick and Ivy), 2x02 (The Scarlet Letter) and 1x01 (Pilot, funny, no red in that title)
Warnings: Character death. i didn't really want to give it away, but i know how much it sucks to get into something and then to see someone die without warning.
She tells him to stay in the car, because that's her thing, and he ignores her, because that's his thing. It was just a routine suspect apprehension. The risk involved was minimal, but until they made sure that there were no guns involved, no large knives, no baseball bats; she wanted him to stay out of the way. It was one thing for the rest of the team to put their lives on the line—that's what they'd signed up for; —but it was something else entirely for him to be there—he wasn't a cop.
He was loitering outside the black SUV when he heard the sound of breaking glass. They had parked just down the street so as not to alert the suspect of their presence, so Jane thought he'd be safe. The street was empty, there shouldn't be a problem.
It was when he heard shots fired that he got a bit jumpy; he didn't like guns. Thinking of that made him smile. Lisbon liked her guns. She had her work gun, her off- work gun and a backup in her car. She didn't strike the casual observer as the type that would be big on guns, but she was. He liked that about her.
Shouting came after the gunshots, "Stop! Police!" Like the guy being chased didn't already know that. It was all so silly sometimes, the whole production that they went through to catch someone. It was much easier his way, but apparently judges frowned on that.
He paced in front of the SUV, hands in his pocket looking at the sky—it was a beautiful shade of blue today—when he heard the sound of pounding feet. He looked down the street and froze in place. He flashed back to a case that wasn't long enough away for him to call it years, but not recent enough for him to remember when it was exactly; when he was. He had been standing in a similar street and a mad man with a machete was coming down the street towards him. But Lisbon was there then, just in the nick of time, and tackled the crazy man in a way that could only be called Lisbonesque.
But she's not there now. She's not behind the suspect where she should be, chasing, making the guy think he can get away. Who would think that such a small woman could pull off such a good imitation of a line backer? He only has a moment to wonder where she is because the guy has a gun and the next thing he knows the suspect is behind him holding a gun to his neck, and Lisbon still wasn't there.
He had a hard time focusing on anything but the cold metal sticking into his skin. He knew he should try to talk his way out of the situation, but the arm around his throat was making it difficult to breathe, and he still couldn't see Lisbon.
He'd never been good with people who were holding him hostage. He remembered the night he was in Lisbon's office with a pair of scissors to his neck. Lisbon was there then, there to help him even if she'd been handcuffed to her door; at least she was there, but right now, in the daylight, she was missing.
The team wasn't shouting at the man behind him. They were just all standing there holding guns on the man.
"Put down the gun." Rigsby's voice, slightly shaky, more than it should be for the situation that they're in. He wonders what else might have gone wrong already. Out of the corner of his eye he sees movement, Lisbon, coming up to them, slightly behind him and the suspect. He hopes that the man holding him hostage doesn't see, and for a minute he doesn't.
As she gets closer he can see that she's got blood on her face, and that she's favoring her left arm, her gun is held only in her right. He wonders if the blood is from the glass that he heard breaking. Before he gets a chance to think much about it, the man jerks his head towards Lisbon and then there are gun shots and it's like the Alamo, or the OK Corral, or some mob movie, and he's falling down. He can't feel anything but the dead weight on his back and the pain in his knees where he hit the asphalt first, and the grit grinding into his face because of what he's assuming is a dead man on his back.
It takes him a second to focus, to realize that no one is trying to remove the dead man from his back, and that the shouting is too far away. He hears Cho shouting "She's not breathing, somebody call for an ambulance" and he feels his heart seize up.
No. No! He refuses to think that Cho could possibly be talking about Lisbon. He doesn't know how, but he pushes out from under the dead man, there's blood everywhere, on his jacket, on his shirt, on his hands, and he looks over to where the rest of the team is standing. He sees Van Pelt with her hands pressed to Lisbon's chest, and there's so much blood.
He flashes back to that night, that night so many years ago that he tries not to think about it, but he can't help it. All that blood, the smile on the wall, his wife, his daughter. And for a second he can't breathe, but then he hears the sirens and the present comes rushing back to him, and the fact that now Rigsby also has hands on Lisbon and he's doing chest compressions while Van Pelt is still trying to stop the blood.
He wants to go closer, to tell her it will be OK, but he can't lie to her any more than he can lie to himself. He watches as the paramedics take over for Rigsby and Van Pelt and as they load her into the back of the ambulance. He probably would have stayed there, staring at the retreating ambulance until there was no one was left in the street if Cho hadn't come up next to him and took him by the arm leading him to the SUV he was never supposed to have left.
He stands by himself in the overly green grass. Everyone else had already left. She was buried next to her mother; she would have liked that, if she'd known. He never wanted to have to lose another woman he cared for. The service had been lovely. The team had been surprised to see him, they didn't think he was going to come. He almost didn't.
That night at the hospital, when the doctor had come out and told them that she was sorry; that there was nothing else she could do… it hadn't been pretty. He'd yelled, finally breaking out the shock that he'd been in since he first heard the gunshots. He'd had to be restrained by Cho and Rigsby. And then he'd left, walked out the hospital and hadn't looked back.
He'd ignored the calls from the team, he knew that he should let them know that he was OK, but he didn't care. He had almost checked himself back into the mental hospital when he had a moment of clarity. She wouldn't have wanted him to be like this, wouldn't have wanted him to be so sad about her death. She would have wanted him to keep doing what he did best.
So here he was, standing by her grave, now just an empty hole. The workers wanted to fill it in, but he was standing there, making it hard for the backhoe to get in. He just had to do this last thing.
He might not be able to avenge her death—the guns of the people who loved her had done that—but he could promise her that he would keep fighting.
"I'm sorry I never listened. I didn't think you would ever get hurt; you were the great Teresa Lisbon, you were supposed to be invincible. But I promise that I will never give up the fight. As long as they let me, I'll be there fighting for you, for the things that you cared about. Because that would be the best way to remember you."
He dropped the single white rose into the hole and walked off as the sound of the machinery started behind him. He had a job to do. And he was going to do it until he wasn't able to anymore, because now he had three women's deaths on his conscience, and damned if he was going to have any more.