Title: When You Assume... 1/?

Author: BuffyAngel68

Rating: FRT-13 at most, for some violent images and discussion.

Summary: The Mentalist-Dead Zone x-over: Patrick Jane thinks he has a solid handle on just about everything, but a quiet stranger with an amazing gift is about to rock his world...

As she covertly studied the man who was, once again, sleeping deeply on the office sofa, the brunette felt a warm, wry smile blossom. He was such a study in contradictions and the differences never struck her the same way twice in a row. Half the time his mercurial nature frustrated her beyond belief, the other half it made her want to put him in footie pajamas, tuck him in and read him a story. A moment later the irony that his initials were P.J hit her hard and she had to move quickly in the other direction in order to avoid waking him with her snorts of laughter.

As she passed through headed for her own office, she caught sight of Grace seated in a conference room, deep in conversation with a handsome man she thought she recognized. Her stride slowed gradually to a halt as she studied the stranger carefully. Dark blond hair, strong facial features, a sweet smile, but with fatigue and a chronic edgy quality lurking just behind it...

Nothing immediately gelled, so she decided she needed to get closer and listen in. When she moved silently into the room, closed the door again and leaned back against it, the pair seated at the table spared her a brief glance, but returned to their intense discussion without directing any comments to her.

"... yes, I understand." Grace said with slightly exaggerated patience, as if she'd had to repeat herself more than a few times. "Trust me, he'll be thrilled to talk with you, but first... I need your real name. Otherwise..."

Sighing, but still maintaining his composure, the man pulled out his cell phone, dialed and handed the device to Grace, who took it warily. "Hello? You have... uh-huh. Agent Van Pelt, California Bureau of Investigation. Right... Yes, well, thank you, Sheriff. I appreciate your help. I will tell him that. Okay. You have a good day too."

As she handed the phone back, she grinned easily at the man across from her.

"What'd he say?" he asked, genuine curiosity lighting his face.

"That if you don't change your name soon he'll not only stop vouching for you, he's going to tell the next person who makes one of these calls that you're an incorrigible flasher and they should put you in a cell until he gets back in touch. Which he won't do for at least forty-eight hours."

To Lisbon's surprise, the man's response to the threat was to echo the smile he'd been offered.

"That sounds like Walt. He'd never do it. At least I hope not."

"So... you're actually John Smith."

"I actually am."

The connections she'd been looking for abruptly snapped into place in Lisbon's mind and she instantly straightened out of her casual position.

" *That* John Smith? Cleaves Mills, Maine?"

"That's me."

"Wowwww..." she exhaled quietly, claiming a chair and holding out a hand, which was stared at instead of grasped. After a moment, she realized why that was.

"So sorry. I forgot, no hand-shakes. Teresa Lisbon. I'm senior agent on the team. I take it you were requesting a meeting with Patrick Jane?"

"I was about to move into pleading and bribery."

"Not necessary. You can see him, though you might wish you hadn't by the time he's through with you. What you can apparently do in reality, he used to pretend to do, so..."

"... it made him a dedicated skeptic and debunker."

"Understatement of the year. Can I ask what it is you came here to tell him?"

"I'd explain if I could. What I see... sometimes it needs interpretation. Only the person it's meant for can really do that. I know it has something to do with a family, but I can't know if it's his, or just a family he's supposed to help me save. I have to talk to him... see his reactions, hear his thoughts. Then we'll know which direction to go in."

"Okay. If you'll wait here, I'll wake him up, let him know what's going on."

"He sleeps here?"

"Long story."

Moving quickly back to where her colleague was still slumbering peacefully, Lisbon crouched beside the sofa and appraised him for another long moment before softly speaking.

"Jane. Hey... you need to wake up."

"Hnnnhhh... what... Lisbon?"

"Yeah. Sorry to do this. I know you haven't had much sleep yet, but there's someone here to see you."

"Obama, I hope?" Jane asked muzzily as he pushed into sitting position.

"Not quite that important... but I know you'll wanna see this guy."

Jane read her expression carefully before responding.

"That good, hmmm?"

"Oh, yeah. Personally... I can't wait."

"I see. Well, if it has you that intrigued, neither can I."

He willingly rose and followed the dark-haired woman through the office to the conference room, but when he saw who was sitting across from Grace, he stopped in his tracks, his interested half smile vanishing between one second and the next. "Oh, no. No, no, no. Not a chance in hell..." he murmured, turning away to head back to his ersatz bed. Lisbon stayed on his heels.

"Jane, wait... stop. Jane..."

"Forget it. Send him back to whatever podunk, back-water, New England town it is he comes from. Hooterville, Mayberry..."

"Cleaves Mills."

"Whatever. I'm not wasting my time or my energy on any more frauds and charlatans..."

Finally, she caught up and gripped his arm, swinging him back around to face her.

"Hold on a second, okay? I take it you recognized him?"

"I wish I didn't. The captivating, conniving bastard has half the major media outlets on the East coast eating out of his hand, begging for five minutes or a spectacular quote. Of course, he claims attention is the last thing he wants, but you don't see his name leaving the headlines, do you?"

"He says he has to talk to you specifically. Says you're the one his... vision was meant for."

"Been there, done that, never again."

Lisbon hesitated, but eventually decided to push, just a little.

"When she had you alone... she told you something that shook you up, didn't she?"

Her friend refused to answer, but the abrupt tautness in his face and his determination not to look at her spoke volumes. "Okay, not discussing that, I guess. The point is, Smith isn't her. From all the reports I've read, he doesn't do it for money. I think he's sincere, Jane. The least you can do is listen. I've never seen you back down from a challenge before. Especially when the person pisses you off as much as he obviously has."

Jane shook his head and tightened his lips, but grudgingly agreed.

"Fine. Ten minutes."

"Thank you. You won't regret it."

"Yes I will, but the sooner I shoot him down, the sooner I get back to sleep, so let's get this over with."

TBC...