A/N: Alight, so, this is somewhat different than what I usually write. Also probably the shortest thing I've ever written. I think it works though. I hope you do to. Written for the jello-forever August challenge: Past Tense.

As always, I own nothing.




It's a horrible thing to lose your link to the future.

After all, some people believe that the only thing keeping some human beings relatively sane and law abiding is the fact that they want to keep the world safe for future generations. Remove the future generations and what's the point? May as well get into as much trouble and have as much fun as you possibly can now, while you're still alive.

It's a depressing theory, but in many ways probably accurate. Whether you believe it or not will depend on your basic stance on humanity.

One thing is for certain though; the desire to pass on something to the next generation is a biological urge. Just ask Darwin.

It's part of the reason the death of a child is such a tragedy to any parent.

As humans we live, in many ways, for the future. Always wondering what's around that next corner. We still remember our pasts, experience our present but we anticipate our futures. Sure, some people can get mired in their pasts and others lack the ability to process anything but the here and now, but most of our outlooks are based on some sort of mixture of all three tenses.

Not all of us of course.

Patrick Jane lost his link to the future years ago.

Now he's stuck in the past, his past.

After his family's murder he simply stopped caring, descended further and further into his own dark world of grief and guilt and then finally vengeance.

Unlike some, the man refused to try to move past it (even after he regained his sanity). There will be no new family for Patrick Jane, no new wife, no other child to restore his faith in the future.

He lives perfectly in his past, from his shoes to his suit to that tragic house that he perversely keeps to punish himself.

His present is nothing, his past is everything. Now exists only to right the wrongs of yesterday; afterwards is immaterial.

Now Patrick Jane chases criminals at the CBI, day in and day out. But he does what he does out of revenge looking backwards on the past, not out of justice which looks forward to the future.

That's her job.

She is, of course, his boss, Agent Teresa Lisbon. The poor woman is constantly looking toward the future, watching out for consequences, not just identifying causes. A fascinating woman all told. She's defined by her past, but not overcome by it. Together the two of them make quite the pair.

Her job is to control him, to make see reason, in effect to pull him out of the past he's so obstinately stuck in.

It's a lovely idea really, their partnership.

But the problem with it is that she's changing him, albeit slowly. They spend too much time together. To not to affect each other at all would go against the basic laws of physics. It was inevitable that Teresa Lisbon would start to become Patrick Jane's connection to the present.

The poor fool just doesn't know it yet.

But he will, oh he will. One day soon Patrick Jane will wake up and he'll realize that he cares more than he ever wanted to. And he'll realize that he likes his present, maybe even has tiny, almost hidden hopes for a future.

His perfect obsession with the past will be broken by a single tangible link to reality.


Of course, the moment he recognizes the significance of that link I'll have to remove it.

It will take careful planning though. His pain will be that much greater if I strike immediately after his realization. Really drive the point home.

Patrick Jane is not to move beyond the past that entraps him so perfectly.

I don't want him to.

After all, why mess with perfection?

I have always strived to be perfect. It's only fitting that my chosen opponent be as well.

Almost a pity about Agent Lisbon though. She's very nearly interesting. But he should have known better.

He doesn't get to look forward anymore.

I won't allow it.

Not to worry though. I'm not cruel. He just needs to learn his lesson. When he finally does I may destroy his ability to look back as well.

I imagine he'll probably welcome that.


The end