She dies slowly, torturously, screaming 'Patrick,' never knowing that her shining white knight would soon be no better than a common criminal.
Death is different than she expected.
She isn't quite sure what she did expect in the first place, but it wasn't this—not this psychedelic drifting between conscious- and dream-state. She thought there would be flowers or butterflies or just anything happy, but that is not what this place is.
No, instead she seems to relive the good memories of her life over and over again.
She is twelve and she and her sister spend that month in Paris with her grandmother.
She is twenty-five and Patrick is smiling at her like she has stardust in her eyes.
She is twenty-seven, and in her arms she holds the sweetest baby girl she's ever seen. She'll name her Amelia and love her like she's never loved anyone.
The joy overwhelms her, keeps her happy for endless amounts of time, but the Truth—the knowledge of her death, the knowledge of her daughter's death—lingers forever just one step behind her.
No one is safe from Death.
It is a lesson Patrick may never learn.
There are no days in Death, only endless journeys, endless time.
She never visits earth, like others do—ghosts who still cling—except one time she does, and it is not of her own doing. She just suddenly is there, sitting in what she somehow knows is a police headquarters.
She glances around for a moment, curious, wondering what she could be doing here, until she hears a voice echo from the hallway.
"Now, come, Lisbon, you can't stay mad forever."
Her ears perk up at the sound.
She is right, of course; she could never mistake that overly dignified tone for anyone else. Filled with a sudden longing, she leaps from the couch she sits upon and rushes—floats, perhaps—toward the hallway.
Sure enough, Patrick stands there, smirking knowingly at a short brunette woman who looks none-too-pleased. Giving Patrick a hard glare, she turns on her heel, stalking away as she calls over her shoulder, "Watch me!"
Patrick stands quite still for a few seconds after that, smiling after the woman as she enters an office. Vivian reaches out, hoping to feel just a brush of his cheek, but just before her hand touches his face, he moves away, waking after the woman he identified as Lisbon.
She cannot say she is not disappointed.
Before she can blink, she is inside a different room. She recognizes it as the office Lisbon and Patrick entered moments before. Time, however, seems to have fast-forward.
Lisbon sits at her desk, going over paperwork; Patrick sleeps soundly on the couch.
Or perhaps not so soundly.
"I will catch him, Lisbon," Patrick whispers quietly, opening his eyes ever-so-slightly. "I will avenge my family."
Images flash before Vivian's eyes:
Intruder in the house.
Blood, blood everywhere.
Screams—she is not sure whose: hers or her daughter's.
Vivian shakes her head to clear the memories and opens her eyes once more to find Patrick and Lisbon in a faceoff. It is not evident who will win this argument.
She allows a small smile. So her husband has met his match.
"Jane…" Lisbon begins.
"No. Lisbon, you must know. I will do it," Patrick says, taking a step closer.
"Well, I won't let you," Lisbon cries, shaking her head. Vivian can see her trying to hold back tears.
It is now obvious to Vivian that she has encroached on an extremely private moment. They have had this argument before, she realizes, because Lisbon's expression is something akin to resignation.
She does not answer Patrick, instead choosing to look down.
"Lisbon, look at me," he demands quietly. "Why not? Why shouldn't I be allowed to avenge my family?"
This time, she does answer, but not using words. She and Patrick do not need words to communicate. Instead, she simply looks up at him, her dark eyes bearing—perhaps for the first time—her entire soul.
The look on Patrick's face sends Vivian reeling. She has seen that look countless times, but never before when directed toward anyone but her.
He looks at Lisbon as if she, too, has stardust in her eyes.
He loves her.
The world goes black.
When she wakes up, she is on the first couch once more. Nearly all the lights are off, so late is the hour, but Patrick sits next to her, reading a book.
She studies him in the dim light. He looks older—much older—than she remembers him, but it is not, she thinks, because of the passing of time. He is not sleeping well. She knows this like she knows her own name.
Her observation is interrupted by quiet footsteps. Lisbon stops a few feet away from the couch, studying Patrick much the way Vivian just was.
Eventually, he looks back up at her, eyebrows raised. He says nothing.
"Planning on going home anytime soon?" Lisbon asks, suppressing a yawn.
"Perhaps," he says elusively. "But you should head home as soon as possible. Don't think I didn't see that." He gives her a look and sets his book down.
"Trying to take care of me, Jane?" Lisbon teases, but it sounds more defensive than anything else.
She is not Patrick's type, Vivian observes. She is too guarded, too self-dependent, too much of a rule follower.
But then, Vivian also sees that Patrick is not the man he once was. She is certain he cannot look at a blonde without dying a little inside.
"I told you, Lisbon," Patrick says a little sadly, pulling Vivian out of her thoughts. "I will always try to save you, even if that just means making sure you get a proper amount of sleep."
Vivian takes this in, lets it settle, and when it has and Lisbon is walking out the door minutes later, she finds it is not so bad—Patrick's moving on is not such a blow as she thought it would be. It is, in fact, for the best.
Turning to face him, she sees his eyes closing drowsily. Sighing softly, she reaches out and smoothes a stray piece of hair back, wishing him peace.
She fades into nothing and leaves him to face his demons alone.
Or perhaps not so alone.
She has confidence that Lisbon will get him through it.
Death consumes her once more. Tomorrow, once less person will think of her.
She begins to think that is all right.