Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy and Bruno Heller owns the Mentalist.
A/N: I wasn't planning on writing a third and final chapter in this series for a while. I thought I'd take some time off, maybe work on something else for a change. But this fic came to me, practically complete, in a dream on Friday night, and I spent the weekend writing it down. And yes - I know how sad it is to admit that I even dream in fan fiction! So this is written, it just needs a little polishing here and there before I post each chapter.
No spoilers as to who the bad guys are, but there's one baddie from each series, and they have dark deeds in mind...
The first day that Patrick Jane did not appear at the office, Teresa Lisbon was not unduly worried. She'd seen him arguing with Hightower the night before and assumed he was still sulking. No new cases came in that day, and she was frankly glad of a quiet day to catch up on paperwork without Jane constantly disturbing her.
The second day that Patrick Jane did not appear at the office, Lisbon began to get a little worried about him, but still assumed he was sulking. Hightower had admitted that she had accused him of being reckless with his colleagues' lives after yet another of his stunts had led to a shootout with the murderer. No one was hurt, but Lisbon knew Jane well enough that he would be both angry and guilty at the accusation of not caring about others' lives. His own life he would be reckless with, but never others.
The third day that Patrick Jane did not appear at the office, Lisbon got concerned. She tried his cell phone and got no answer, tried the landline at the apartment he usually rented in Sacramento and again got no answer. Not wanting to worry her team, or look like an idiot when inevitably Jane strolled in as though nothing was wrong, she didn't mention her concerns, but instead started calling hospitals in the area, just in case. When that didn't turn up any news of him, she drove out to his little-used house in Malibu. She'd only ever been there once before, and it was not a place she felt at home in. The red smiley face that hinted at the dark deeds that had occurred still grinned in its macabre way. It was no wonder Jane rarely came home, she thought with a shiver. But there was no sign of him at the house, and no hint that he had been there in several weeks.
The fourth day that Patrick Jane did not appear at the office, Lisbon called a team meeting.
"Has anyone heard from Jane? Anything at all?"
"Nope. Wait, you mean you don't know where he is either?" Van Pelt frowned, suddenly worried. "We all thought he'd told you that he wouldn't be around, that was why we haven't asked."
"So no one has heard from him in four days?" Lisbon folded her arms and shook her head. "Where the hell has he got to?"
"I'll call the hospitals," Van Pelt said, picking up the phone.
"I called them yesterday. Try them again, then try the morgues and every police station in a seventy mile radius, in case he got himself arrested for something. I'm going to go talk to Hightower."
As Lisbon left, Rigsby glanced over at the other two. "She was worried enough to call round hospitals yesterday, but she didn't tell us?"
"You know Lisbon," Cho commented. "Never shares much."
The fifth day that Patrick Jane did not appear at the office, he officially became a missing person and every team at the CBI was put on the case. One of their own was in trouble. Even those agents who had never been able to stand Jane's antics made no complaints, just started work. One of their own was in trouble.