So I read the May Jello-forever prompt, Empty Promises, and immediately figured I'd end up skipping it this month. After all, I've already got a bunch of other stuff planned out. Then I remembered a conversation I'd had with Alamo Girl about how Lisbon's apparent hopelessness about her own situation depressed me, even if I could kind of understand it. Bet we can all guess what happened next.

Here it is, my entry to the May Jello-forever challenge.

As always, I own neither Jane nor Lisbon.


"I don't need to be saved. I knew this would end in disaster the day I signed on with you. One day I'm going to get fired because of you. That's just the way it is." (Ep. 2.19, Blood Money)


Teresa Lisbon walked into her apartment, shut her door and tossed her purse onto her coffee table.

She'd meant it when she'd told Jane that most of the time putting a lot of bad guys away was enough for her. Tossing murdering scumbags behind bars and (hopefully) throwing away the key helped her to sleep at night, helped her live with herself and her own mistakes. So yeah, she liked that part of the job.

Didn't mean she didn't want to bang her head against the wall the rest of the time.

Lisbon poured herself a glass of water before sinking down into the centre of her couch. She pressed the glass against her forehead to hopefully help prevent the headache she could feel lurking just below the surface.

If it hadn't been for the slightest hint of pressure building behind her eyes she might have been inclined to trade the water for a glass of red wine. After the past few days no one could blame her. But that was a bad idea. Quite apart from the possible headache she was also probably still slightly dehydrated. She had recently spent several hours locked in a storage container in the Mexican desert after all.

Yup, great week. Crazy consultant gets rock-solid case against a hit-man dismissed. New Boss rightfully suspends her for failure to control said consultant. Slightly penitent consultant gets her mixed up in more insanity, including (as already mentioned) an unwanted sojourn in a storage container. Intentionally unruly consultant then gets fined, arrested and puts on a show in a court of law. Despite possibly demonstrating serious mental instability, grandstanding consultant catches killer. New Boss inexplicably lifts suspension despite multiple instances of bending and/or breaking the law.

Lisbon sighed against the half-empty glass.

And Jane thought he was being helpful.

His apparent attempts to save her made her head swim.

And Madeleine Hightower didn't help matters.

Oh Lisbon was sure the woman was a very capable leader and knew exactly what she was doing; the woman claimed to even have some sort of plan for an improved CBI. The hell if Lisbon knew what it was though.

Hightower had flat out told her that her job was on the chopping block unless Jane toed the line. And Lisbon could have dealt with that. Really. She got that as his nominal supervisor she was responsible for any and all of Jane's lunacy. Which would have been fine, if Hightower was anywhere near consistent when it came to consequences.

Because Lisbon was getting tired of worrying about which illegal acts would be dismissed and which would result in a reprimand.

Her lips quirked up. But it was all good really, because Jane was going to save her.

Right. Jane would be looking out for her, would be there for her. Just like everyone else always was.

Let's see, her mother had died when she'd been a teenager.

Then there was her father; he'd certainly looked after her well. Given that as time went on, "so drunk he passed out," had been his least painful state from his children's point of view he'd sure turned out to be really good at fulfilling his parental responsibilities.

Her brothers had all escaped the carnage of that house the second they could. Now if she spoke to them once a year she counted herself lucky.

She knew they sure as hell didn't all speak to each other.

Of course once she'd gotten into law enforcement she had found a couple of mentors on the job.

First there'd been Bosco. One of the first truly decent men she'd ever met. He'd only ever let her down once, years ago. She'd long ago made her peace with that.

Then he became another good cop taken down by a psycho they couldn't catch quickly enough.

Or there was Virgil Minelli, her first supervisor at the CBI. A place that used to feel like home. Retired out of state.

He had a family. And he deserved to enjoy them before the job tore him apart like it did to too many.

So Lisbon hadn't been surprised when Hightower had threatened her job if Jane didn't toe the line. If Jane didn't toe the line. Yeah, like that was gonna happen. After Minelli'd left she'd known deep down that she'd lost her last remaining line of defence.

Losing her team was really just the next inevitability.

It'd become clear years ago that her life was going to be a lonely one.

She smirked again. Well, apparently she wouldn't be completely alone. Apparently she'd always have Jane.

She remembered what he'd had the nerve to promise in that storage container.

"You know I'm always going to save you Lisbon, whether you like it or not."

After all, it's not like Jane was a servant to two masters or anything.

Oh she'd no doubt his intentions were good. And she'd actually been surprised that he'd admitted she meant anything at all to him. But Teresa Lisbon didn't need anyone to save her. Least of all Patrick Jane. She'd known he was trouble right from the start. And if she hadn't actually known from the day they met that he'd defeat her, she certainly should have.

Because that was inevitable too.

At least she'd never made the mistake of expecting anything from him. She'd go down alone to be sure, but at least that way there'd be no more disappointments

Her phone rang, cutting through the silence of her apartment.

She winced and let it ring.

Moments later she heard her answering service pick up. She barely registered her own voice clinically requesting that the caller leave a message.

Her ears did prick up though when she heard Jane's voice echo through her empty apartment.

"Hi Lisbon it's me. Just wanted to make sure you're alright. Like I promised. I know you don't want to hear from me, but if you'll recall I also promised not to care about that. So give me a call whenever you get over your own stubbornness would you?"

The corners of her lips quirked up ever so briefly.

She'd come to expect so very little from Jane, that anything he did manage to come through on, no matter how small, was a sort of pleasant surprise.

She paused.

And if she had no expectations to begin with, at least she couldn't be disappointed the next time Jane inevitably forgot about her.

She grabbed her cordless phone and punched in a familiar number.

Why not?

Who knows, before everything came crashing down on her head she might actually be pleasantly surprised once or twice.

A kind of calm before the storm.

It could happen.

She may as well try and enjoy it while she could.


The end