This is the finale post-ep I never thought I'd write. Actually, it's a post-ep for the last two episodes of season 2 (2.22 and 2.23), or the Kristina Frye episodes. I'm just sneaking it in before the premiere (not a word Yana!) It's also sixth in my AU Established J/L post-ep series. The series includes Mutual Liberation, To hold but maybe not to keep, In all Fairness, Overnight Abandon and The Sins of our Fathers. You don't have to have read any of them to understand this, but it would probably help. J/L are in an established relationship of sorts. But they're not quite dating. Reading Mutual Liberation should give you an idea of what it's like.

This is dedicated to Yana, who, along with inspiring the entire series, somehow made me think this was a good idea. And hey, maybe it was. What do I know?

It's what I'm calling a one-shot in two parts. Basically, it's really only one-chapter. But that chapter was so insanely long that I decided to break it up into two for ease of reading purposes. I'm posting both parts simultaneously though, since really, it's all part of the same story, and waiting just didn't sit well with me.

I still own nothing. Somehow I doubt I ever will.

xxxxx

If Ye Break Faith

xxxxx

It was absolutely imperative that he lie to her.

Especially now. Red John potentially had another mole, another person caught in his web who'd had a chance to observe both Jane and Lisbon up close. A particularly perceptive mole too. Not that Lisbon would have given much away. He hadn't either for that matter. Well he hoped not at least. He had admittedly been a little distracted. And who knows what the so-called psychic might have seen, might have guessed, might even know about their secrets. Now, unless they found Kristina Frye or she turned up dead somewhere, the stupid psychic was a danger to them.

He may have deserved the danger, but Lisbon didn't. So he would continue to lie to her.

Jane stared up at the ceiling. It shouldn't be difficult. Not now. Not when he'd already cracked them.

Any more lies were just going to crack them more.

xxxxx

Some people must have normal lives, right?

Okay, maybe they weren't completely normal. Everyone has their little quirks, their hidden secrets. But for the most part some people must have hints of the ordinary, family, friends, a job they can let go of when they walk into their home at night.

And even if they did have crazy jobs, hell, even if they did work in law enforcement, her life wasn't the norm. It just, it couldn't be.

She was something of an exception. Right?

After all, most people's parents weren't both dead by the time they hit their eighteenth birthday. Most people probably also didn't have the experience of finding their father's body themselves, or of sitting up at night five years later, on the phone with their younger brother, trying to talk him through the night when he was trying to get sober. The majority of the population didn't have to deal with a possibly certifiably insane consultant dedicated to killing a serial killer. And it was her understanding that most consultants didn't come with personal (and highly dangerous) vendettas for their boss to deal with.

If there were other bosses with that particular problem, well, they probably had the good sense not to start sleeping with that consultant, especially not for reasons that weren't entirely clear.

Probably weren't obsessed with a job that just might literally kill them either.

They almost definitely didn't have basically nothing else in their lives.

And they probably didn't lie awake at night because they felt what little they did have slipping away from them.

Lisbon sighed to herself, in bed, alone in the darkness. A normal life was possible for some people. It had to be. What little faith she had left wasn't completely misplaced.

Was it?

xxxxx

It was all his own fault really.

He'd been caught up in emotions he hadn't felt in far too long, distracted by the sheer novelty of it all. Well, that and the fact that the fascination he was experiencing had been clearly mutual.

As soon as Jane heard the competent if uninspiring sheriff claim to have a psychic of his own Jane had known the case was going to be particularly fun. After all, another person working within their area of expertise would have been enough to grab anyone's interest. The fact that it in this instance it wasn't just anyone, it was her, simply made it even more irresistible to him. Jane had walked into the hall with Lisbon and the sheriff who was in so far out of his depth it was almost comical, and there she was, Kristina Frye. With the familiar air of superiority, the knowing smirk, the friendly smile that gave nothing away, and the curls he'd noticed the first time they met, the ones that set off a pair of very pretty eyes.

Jane admitted that he'd always had a fascination with eyes.

You could read so much in most people's after all.

And even apart from her eyes, he was intrigued by Kristina. It was so tempting to suspect that part of the reason that she'd started consulting with the local authorities in the first place was because he'd inspired her. Something that, among other things, implied that he'd crossed her mind in the year since they'd parted. It was also impossible not to suspect that the reason she was so insistent on being kept in the loop on this case (when clearly Lisbon had it more than under control) was that Ms. Frye found it just as intriguing to work with him as he did with her.

People with their particular skill set were so few and far between, when they did meet up there was almost always an explosion of one emotion or another.

And for some reason, this time Jane didn't find her mere presence as irritating as he had the last time they'd crossed paths.

Oh, her insistence that it was "the spirits" talking to her was still completely ludicrous. Nothing more than spiritual poppycock intended to bolster her image and help her sell herself, obviously. But Jane understood that, could respect it almost. It got a bit trying, watching her ply her trade all the time, especially since what she did was almost an almost exact facsimile of what he'd done before he got his wake-up call. Jane wasn't sure whether to be amused or uncomfortable about it. He definitely found it entertaining to try and decipher how she'd guessed what she had though. A challenge of sorts, to see if he could follow her logic, could make the same deductions. It was quite the stimulating mental exercise really. She provided any number of attractive little puzzles did Kristina.

And any irritation Jane may have felt by her was originally well-buried under all the other things he was experiencing at the same time: personal interest, maybe even sexual interest, a desire to spend time with another human being, probably even a measure of affection of sorts, definitely awkwardness in her presence because of all the rest, and flattery. Flattery because he didn't need to be one of the most perceptive men in California to deduce how she felt about him in return.

Her methods of attraction might have been unorthodox (and he'd admit privately, a little confusing), but her interest was so obvious that even Hightower had noticed.

Something Jane wished could have been avoided.

He remembered Hightower's smug observation. "She likes you that one," the director of the CBI said with a little smirk as she gestured into the office where Kristina was talking animatedly to Lisbon about the case.

"Which one?" Jane stupidly asked. After all, the answer should have been obvious. There was only one person he should have been even considering as an answer. The last thing he needed was Hightower to get suspicions about his relationship with Lisbon. Madeleine had already tried to use his affection for his boss against Teresa once, and that was when the director had believed that their relationship was strictly platonic. What would the interfering woman try and do if she knew the truth?

But the truth didn't seem to occur to Madeleine Hightower. "The blond one," she replied, her tone condescending.

"What?" Jane asked, too quickly. At least this time he could attribute his incomprehension to the fact that the conversation was so far beyond what he'd ever expected to talk to Madeleine about that his discomfort was practically a given.

"And you like her," Agent Hightower said, continuing blithely on with her train of thought as if Jane hadn't spoken and hadn't expressed even the slightest bit of surprise at the idea. Jane supposed she was right though. He was feeling pulled in by Kristina, by the promise of a challenge and by their similarity of mind. But he certainly didn't want Hightower commenting on it. The other times the Director had inserted herself into the relationships of the members of the Serious Crimes Unit the results hadn't been particularly favourable.

Besides, there was still the issue of Lisbon.

Jane glanced back at the two women in the room. Both of them intrigued him. He cared about both. "I'm not so sure I know where this is headed," he said slowly.

"You know exactly where this is headed," Hightower replied, steamrolling over his attempts at avoiding the conversation. "Do you ever consider dating again? Do you?" she asked, her expression both superior and indulgent. It was an impressive mix, and not one you saw all that often.

That was when Jane did what he did best; he tried to deflect. "How did we get to this point so quickly?"

"I'm just saying I think it would be a good thing," Hightower explained to him.

Which, obviously if she thought it was a good thing for him to start dating then obviously it must be so Jane thought cynically. He wasn't sure exactly why the head of the CBI thought she had the authority to butt into the relationships of her employees (other than maybe those that countermanded the organization's own code of conduct, maybe), but Jane found it all extremely tiresome.

Luckily he was to be granted a temporary reprieve, though not one designed to make the situation any less complicated.

"What would?" Lisbon asked as she walked out of the room with Kristina.

Hightower had covered quickly with information about the case. Lisbon hadn't suspected a thing (and why should she?), but he'd still been shaken.

Caring about either woman was bad. Caring about both was ten times worse. Hightower certainly wouldn't like it if she knew how much he cared about one. And Red John definitely wouldn't like if Jane cared about either.

It didn't even occur to Jane at the time that his boss might be trying to help him move on. His mind had already moved on to damage control. Did Hightower suspect? She'd already tried to use his positive feelings for Lisbon once. Exactly how strong did she think they were? And if she had suspicions, what did Red John think?

Lisbon and he weren't exclusive, not by any means. They weren't well defined enough to even have a discussion about it. The two of them were something to each other, something that wasn't easily characterized. And something that was both good and bad for the both of them.

Jane turned his attention to Kristina. She was a beautiful woman. There was no denying that. Intelligent, quick, manipulative. He understood her, and to an extent she understood him. She understood his abilities (for obvious reasons). They both had a lot in common. He'd admitted that he'd already found himself... drawn to her. And like he'd said, she was obviously displaying some interest in return. She was novel.

Almost everybody expected him to do something about that. If he didn't, would they wonder why?

Even Lisbon seemed to expect it. Jane had caught his boss smirking at him and Kristina more than once. He'd had no trouble reading exactly what was going through her mind on the subject.

Jane paused. The idea of going out to dinner with a woman like a normal person had its attractions. Anyone would be able to understand that.

And Lisbon was far more understanding then most.

xxxxx

She didn't know how to react to this. She didn't know what she was supposed to feel.

Jane had gone out on a date.

With another woman obviously.

Not that she had any say in the matter. She and Jane certainly didn't date.

Well, okay, they had gone out to dinner that one time, after the Walter Mashburn case. But that hadn't really been a date. That had been a one-off, easily explained away by the fact that Jane had been given a fancy car and he'd had no one else.

Something that was no longer true when Kristina Frye waltzed back into town.

When Van Pelt found the new Red John video Lisbon had obviously been preoccupied. She knew exactly what another Red John case could do to Jane, what it could to do the pair of them. Each time he committed another crime the serial killer managed to slip away without a trace. Each time that happened Jane slipped a little deeper inside himself and it took just a little longer, just a little more to eventually draw him back out.

Lisbon was terrified that one of these days he just wouldn't come back.

So it was understandable that she wouldn't have noticed something as trivial as a slight change in Jane's wardrobe when he walked into the office to watch the potential Red John video.

Not right away.

On the other hand even she couldn't ignore the presence of the other woman.

The other woman. God, it sounded like a bad romance novel.

Minus the romance of course.

That's about when Lisbon had realized that Jane wasn't wearing the suit he apparently wore every other day of the year. And Kristina Frye looked quite pretty herself. Very pretty actually. Her hair was rather elaborately arranged, something Lisbon had never learned the knack of doing. But then Kristina could do a lot of things that Lisbon never really had a knack for.

And that's when she realized it. They'd been together. After all, Jane certainly wouldn't have called Kristina to ask her for a second opinion on the case, not with a potential Red John involvement. And the idea that he'd called her for moral support was even more laughable.

No, they'd been… getting to know each other when Van Pelt had interrupted them with her phone call.

Lisbon couldn't say she was all that surprised. She'd known that Jane had been interested by the supposed-psychic. She'd have to have been stone blind not to have noticed. And while she wasn't as observant as Jane was, she also wasn't a fool.

At first she hadn't been too upset by the idea. Maybe it wasn't entirely a bad thing.

After all, a more normal social life would be good for Jane. Some sort of varied interaction, something other than sleeping on various couches in the CBI at all hours or obsessing over the case files of a serial killer might actually help him move beyond his obsession with Red John. Kristina Frye was friendly, and pretty, and had seemed reasonably sane, even with her unorthodox abilities. She could have been a positive influence.

Besides, as she'd already said, Lisbon certainly didn't have a claim on her consultant.

She'd never been under any illusions about what she and Jane were doing. Yes, they slept together from time to time. Yes, they spent some time together outside the office, confided in each other to an extent. And yes, Jane cared for her, in his way. But they'd never had a traditional relationship. She knew she'd get no declarations of love, no roses, no intimate evenings over coffee. They both got a companion when times were especially tough. Another person who was there, someone who knew them, who wasn't anonymous.

It was more than comfort but less than courtship.

But maybe the halfway thing that they were doing wasn't good for either of them. Maybe it was time for a change. The advent of Kristina Frye was a sign of that, if nothing else. Maybe Lisbon should just let Jane make his choice.

After all, she was getting sick of fighting fights that she almost certainly won't win.

And Jane's fascination with the persuasive, observant woman made sense. It was like recognizing like. They understood each other, in a way that few other people would be able to. They both loved to manipulate. They were both so similar. Jane was enjoying the challenge of Kristina. Kristina was an enigma that Lisbon herself could never hope to match. After all, Teresa Lisbon was fairly straightforward, all things considered. She was a cop, a good cop of course, but that wasn't the point. She did what she did out of a desire to save people. Jane had figured that out almost immediately. He also knew all about her issues with trust, with relationships, with really any setting outside of work. She wasn't transparent, she knew that, but he seemed to see through her anyway.

Maybe she was too straightforward for a mind like Patrick Jane's.

It sounded terrible. Terrible, and self-defeating, and self-pitying, and a million other things that normally she'd hate. It sounded like that, but it wasn't really.

It was just the way things were.

She was confident in the workplace, but not anywhere else. She couldn't blame Jane for considering a woman who was.

Lisbon had always known what they had wouldn't last forever.

But still, he had gone out with another woman.

And that stung.

He hadn't even bothered to talk to her about it first.

Jerk.

And Jane had to have been considering the idea for a few days at least. After all, Jane's 'date' had occurred days after they'd closed the human-trafficking case, which was almost certainly when the plans had been made. Lisbon knew that Jane had followed Kristina out of the building; ostensibly to reinforce his position that there was no way Kristina had any sort of genuine connection to the afterlife. But his impulse to chase after her had been more than that. Lisbon knew that now.

He'd probably asked her then. It would have been the perfect opportunity. And Lisbon hadn't seen him again that night.

Actually, she hadn't seen him alone much over the intervening days either. In and of itself that wasn't surprising.

Like she'd said, they weren't in a relationship. They didn't see each other on a regular basis. Sure, it averaged out about once or twice a week, sometimes more. But that was an average. They tended to spend more time together when one of them was stressed, or upset, or things were going badly. It wasn't unheard of for the two of them to go a week without one of them showing up at the other's door late at night with take-out, or a movie, or maybe just a secret smile.

Still, even if he hadn't shown up at her apartment (and his reasons for not doing so were sounding less and less like coincidence), Jane had still spent more than one of the intervening evenings on the couch in her office while she filled out paperwork. If he'd wanted to he could have brought up his dinner with Kristina then.

But he didn't.

Probably didn't want to make it more awkward than it needed to be. Or maybe he figured she'd never find out. After all, she certainly wouldn't have ever asked.

He'd tried to talk to her after the fact, but she hadn't let him.

For one she'd been a little busy. For another, well, she wasn't a saint.

They'd been in the middle of the case. Marley Sparrow's case. It was still before Kristina had antagonized a serial killer so the case hadn't really been about Red John. The serial killer wasn't hadn't been directly responsible for any deaths. Not yet at least.

Jane showed up at her office. He even knocked on the door so she'd known right away that something was up. Whatever her consultant was going to say, it wasn't about the case.

"Lisbon," he said quietly from the doorway.

"Come on in," she replied, trying to keep her tone as normal as possible. "Just give me a second," she added as she finished up something on her computer. "What can I do for you?" she asked lightly, her tone friendly. Like this was just another normal visit. Like he was going to ask her if he could go visit the crime scene with Cho, or hypnotize the members of the campus film society with Rigsby, or who knows what with Van Pelt.

"Teresa," he said softly. "We need to talk."

"About what?" After all, maybe if she played dumb, he'd just go away.

No such luck of course. "You know what," Jane admonished lightly.

"Jane…"

"About Kristina," he started to explain, after squaring his shoulders like he was going into battle.

"You don't have to explain," she said quickly.

"I don't?" he wondered, obviously confused..

"No," she told him. "I understand."

Jane frowned at that. "I don't think you do," he said slowly.

But she wasn't up to having that particular conversation. In fact, she wasn't sure she'd ever be up to it. "Look Jane," she said to him, cutting off any explanation he may have been inclined to give. "I don't have time to get into all this right now. I know that in your mind this case is just a Red John copycat so you think it's almost too straightforward to really bother with, but I still need to concentrate on solving it. We can talk later."

Jane looked relieved at the reprieve she'd granted. "Okay," he said softly.

"I'll talk to you later," she repeated just as quietly. "I've got to finish going through this."

"Right," he'd said. "And Lisbon?"

"Yeah?" she asked.

He took a breath, then shot her that charming grin and waved a hand in her direction. "Never mind," he said. "We'll just talk later."

She'd just nodded.

They hadn't talked later.

He tried again once the case had become a Red John case. When the television interviewer was murdered. When Kristina was in protective custody.

Yet again, Lisbon found Jane in her office doorway.

"Lisbon," he said.

She knew what he was going to say. "Jane," she said. "I know, but I can't do this now."

But this time he was more insistent. "Teresa, I…"

"Jane!" she cut him off abruptly. "I can't. Okay? I'm sorry. I know you care about her, and I can't even imagine what's going through your mind right now, but I need to focus on the case. I need to work. Do you understand?" She suspected he did, probably more than she wanted him to. So she steeled up and took refuge in the same thing she always did. "I can't have my focus being divided right now, not anymore than it already is," Lisbon explained. "And right now the case is more important."

His smile had been watery then. The same smile she saw from time to time whenever Red John resurfaced.

"Right," he said mirthlessly. "Work. You're right. Of course you're right. This comes first."

"We'll talk later," she'd said again.

"Of course we will," he said, obviously not believing her.

He'd had reason to of course. She hadn't believed herself, and with good reason. They hadn't talked later. But it hadn't seemed relevant. Not after Kristina disappeared. Or maybe it wasn't that it wasn't relevant so much as that it was too difficult a subject to broach. Lisbon didn't want to remind him about what had happened, not any more than necessary. After all, Frye was almost certainly complicit in Red John's schemes or she was dead. Lisbon wasn't even sure which outcome was worse from Jane's perspective.

She didn't know what Jane thought about really anything that had happened. Maybe he thought that since they'd never actually closed the case that that technically meant that the two of them didn't have to talk about it.

So Lisbon never did find out what he was going to say to her that night. Whether he was going to apologize, to explain, or maybe just to let her down gently.

Or…

Well… maybe it didn't even matter in the long run.

xxxxx

Lisbon had known what was going on the entire time of course. Maybe even before he had.

She'd been watching him with Frye. Always tactful of course. She was still Lisbon, even if the man she occasionally slept with was obviously intrigued by another woman.

Why didn't she hate him again?

Jane didn't know. But he'd made the mistake of assuming how she felt about something once before, he wouldn't do it again.

Of course, he hadn't also bothered to actually talk to her about it either. Coward that he was.

She'd even volunteered to take the first shift protecting Kristina with him, after the stupid, arrogant, foolish woman had antagonized Red John, just as he had years ago. That had probably been on Lisbon's list of the top ten things she'd never wanted to do. Well, Jane was sure it would have been if the possibility of that particular set of events had ever occurred to the Agent. Lisbon must have been upset though. She'd had to watch a man she cared about concerned over another woman. And it wouldn't have just affected her for personal reasons. Protecting an unbelievably arrogant woman who'd almost certainly (and completely avoidably) signed her own death warrant was hardly a good time for anyone. That coupled with the other stuff involved, well, if Jane hadn't acknowledged Lisbon's poise before

It was disconcerting how normal she as being about the whole thing actually. When the two of them arrived at Kristina's house which apparently reminded her of a day spa (though Jane couldn't help noticing the particularly unwelcome similarities to his own house in Malibu), Lisbon had been polite, competent, professional. Not even a hint that she'd probably have rather been just about anywhere else on the planet at that particular moment.

But Jane'd known the truth, somehow.

She was angry, angry, and defensive and probably hurt. But instead of expressing it she'd just shut down.

He'd known that Kristina's unbelievably stupid interview had infuriated her just as much as it had him. Perhaps more so. He'd know that Lisbon wanted to smack the woman silly for it. The faintest trace of anger and irritation between her eyebrows gave her away.

Though Jane was ashamed to say that at the time he'd barely even noticed how Lisbon was feeling.

He'd been so wrapped up in his own concern, his own panic that another woman he cared about might become one of Red John's victims that he hadn't seen what he was putting his boss through.

Lisbon on the other hand, seemed to understand his mind perfectly. She'd been able to see right through him. On any other day he'd have laughed over their apparent role-reversal.

As it was, he could only be mildly ashamed of how he'd dealt with the situation.

They'd gone back to the CBI at the end of their shift at Kristina's, after he'd been awkward, and concerned and guilty. Needless to say, it had not been a comfortable car ride. He'd been positively manic, while Lisbon had been soothing as usual, assuring him that they were protecting Kristina as well as they possibly could. At least she had been at the start of the ride. But even she couldn't keep up the front this long. This time the tiredness had made just the hint of bitterness in her voice barely discernable.

"We need…" he kept repeating. "We need to be watching. Red John will try and get to her Lisbon. And when he does we need to be there."

"Jane," Lisbon said patiently. "We have a team watching the house. Van Pelt's with her now. Kristina's as well protected as we can make her. If Red John tries to get to her now, we will catch him and we will stop him. Right now we have to go back to the CBI, we need to try to figure out who killed Marley Sparrow and then we need to get some rest."

"Well, I'm hardly going to be getting any rest," Jane told her peevishly. "And I doubt I'll be thinking too much about Marley Sparrow Lisbon. We're talking about Red John here"

"And that's all that matters to you isn't it?" Lisbon demanded, her control finally snapping. "Who cares about the other victims as long as Red John is involved? What does it matter if their families get closure? If they get justice? Just as long as you get your precious revenge."

"Well of course that's not true," Jane said quickly. "It's very important that Marley's murder gets solved eventually. But excuse me for placing just a little more importance on catching the serial killer and trying to prevent someone else from getting killed. I'm being proactive Lisbon. I thought you'd like that."

Lisbon sighed. "And there's nothing we can do about Red John right now Jane."

"Sure we can," he disagreed. "And you know why I'm here, what I need to do. If you wanted to there are things we could do to find Red John."

But Lisbon hadn't conceded the point. "Like what? Go and hover over Kristina Frye until she orders us out of her house? Until we burn out and we're useless for protection anyway? Not happening! We need to clear our heads, and we need to do what we can to catch Marley's killer, like Hightower ordered us to do."

"Forget Hightower," he shot back.

Lisbon frowned then. "You might have that luxury; I don't," she reminded him.

He felt suddenly guilty, "Lisbon that's not what I…"

But she interrupted him. "I'm doing my job Jane. That's all. I'm just… I'm doing my job. And I'm getting tired of having to force you to do yours too. So if you can't cooperate could you at least sit there and shut up? Worry about Kristina Frye if you want to, but do it quietly and let me work," Lisbon said bitterly.

"Lisbon," he said. "I…"

"That's not quiet," she snapped quickly.

So he'd done what she wanted. Figured he at least owed her that. She'd gotten herself back under control by the time they arrived back at the CBI and she had to check back in with her team.

Jane hadn't seen what the big deal was though. They'd already identified the mostly likely suspect for Marley's murder. Now they just had to figure out how to find him.

Planning the operation had distracted Lisbon from him for a while. But when her attempts to apprehend the man (who as it turned out wasn't even guilty) failed, Lisbon took the time to check in with him again. She was calmer now, and she wanted to make sure he was alright.

Needless to say his mental state hadn't been good.

But then she'd already known that. "You should make that call," she'd told him sweetly, no judgement in her voice.

"What call?" he'd asked, in what was quite possibly an attempt not to rub his concern in her face. He didn't know, and he was loathe to give himself any credit where his behaviour towards her was concerned.

She'd seen right through his pitiful ruse. "Right. Like I'm not a detective too," she'd said, almost amused. She wasn't angry. She'd simply recognized his discomfort and that he cared about Kristina.

No jealousy though. Unless she'd hidden it well. Admittedly Jane hadn't been at his most perceptive. But assuming he was right, why wasn't she jealous?

Did he mean that little to her? Was what they were doing so unimportant to her that she didn't even see the point in getting jealous?

Or had she already given up on him? Decided to cut her losses?

Or, was she dropping it because she knew how big a deal Red John was to him? Maybe that was it. Maybe she even figured Kristina was a moot point thanks to his obvious contempt for her little interview.

Jane had watched Lisbon walk away, considering. But in the end he'd picked up the phone to call Kristina.

He really had been distracted. Because it didn't even occur to him that yet again, he had absolutely no idea what Lisbon was thinking.

Now, after the fact, he realized it, He didn't like it.

And he still didn't know if she was hurt, angry, or just plain indifferent.

In fact, the only time she'd gotten annoyed at all hadn't even been about Kristina, not really, but Red John.

The two of them had gone to the crime scene in Nevada, seen the woman who'd interviewed Kristina cut up on the bed. They'd both known it was Red John taking his revenge for the arrogance of someone who thought they knew him.

Jane had panicked.

No other word for it. He'd wanted to go to Kristina's house immediately. To do what, he wasn't sure. The woman's own observation that there wasn't a thing he could do to protect her was sadly accurate. He may be able to observe enough information to solve a crime, but as a protector Patrick Jane was sorely lacking.

Still, he needed to be there. And he'd said so.

That's when Lisbon had gotten angry.

"You really want to go back and hang out at Kristina Frye's house waiting for Red John to show up?" she snapped, suggesting instead that they head back to work the case he was supposed to.

Despite knowing that he was useless as a protector, Jane knew he would be equally useless as an investigator. He could no more concentrate on the Marley Sparrow case then he could fly. Not with Red John so close and interfering in his personal life again.

This time is stubbornness had finally been too much for his partner.

"Right, fine. Go and wait for Red John!" Lisbon practically yelled. "It's not a good idea though." She'd sounded defeated and upset. That alone should have made him hesitate.

It didn't.

He'd been wrapped up in his own little world, a world where a serial killer could threaten the women in his life any time he chose to.

Jane knew he was lucky that Lisbon hadn't just left him in Nevada. She hadn't, but she'd made her displeasure known the entire car ride back to Kristina's house.

She'd sat in silence, glaring at the road, at the on-coming traffic, at her mirrors, at the radio, at her dashboard, basically glaring at anything that she could possibly glare at without turning her head or in any way acknowledging his presence.

Jane knew he probably should have let sleeping dogs lie. He would have if he'd had any sense of self-preservation. Of course, it was well known that whenever Red John re-emerged in his life that Patrick Jane's sense of self-preservation disappeared immediately.

"I don't know why you're so angry," he said to the woman sitting next to him. "You know as well as I do that you don't need me to help find Marley's killer."

Lisbon was silent.

Jane didn't take the hint. "And aren't you always telling me that you don't need me to solve your cases. That you and the rest of the team can do quite well on your own? Admittedly you only say that when you think my ego needs puncturing…"

"So all the time then," Lisbon muttered darkly.

"And you also claim that you keep me around because I solve cases," Jane continued. "We both know I'm generally quite helpful Lisbon, but we also both know that today I won't be helpful to you back at the CBI."

"As opposed to at Kristina Frye's house, where you're absolutely necessary," Lisbon said viciously. "After all, she's only surrounded by a team of very capable law enforcement professionals, professionals who are trained to protect people in danger. But you're right. I'm sure they'll need you. The fake psychic."

"Hey," Jane said raising his hands in self-defence. "I'm concerned about a friend. If you have a problem with that…"

"I don't have a problem with that!" Lisbon snapped. "I'm glad you're concerned about other people Jane. I'm glad that you took it upon yourself to actually interact with another human being! What I'm not happy about is your bull-headed idea that you need to sit around at Kristina Frye's house waiting for Red John! We don't even know if he's going to go there."

Jane started to interrupt.

"You say he is!" Lisbon continued. "But you don't know, and you've been wrong about Red John before. We both have. Not to mention you're pissed off at Frye anyway. Don't even try and deny it. You're mad because she went and did the exact same thing you did. And sure, most of you wants to protect her, but a small part of you wants to rub her face in it, just a little, for being so stupid. So what? You're gonna go there, add absolutely nothing to the protection efforts, probably be more of a distraction than anything else and quite probably verbally tangle with Frye." Lisbon took a breath, "Yeah, for some reason I still don't think that's a very good idea. But what do I know? I'm just the one who's been trained in protection, who's up on police procedure. I'm just the damn CBI agent here. But you don't give a damn what I think. You're just gonna go and do whatever the hell you want to no matter what I say. So here we are Jane," she said viciously as she threw the SUV into park. "We're outside Kristina's house. It's what you wanted. Get out."

"Lisbon…" he said softly.

"I said get out," she bit out. "I'm giving you what you wanted, now go. Go and wait for Red John like a stupid sitting duck."

"Thank you for the ride," he said as he got out of the car. But she drove off without listening to him.

He watched her go for a moment before heading into the house. Lisbon was wrong, he thought as he identified himself to the officer at the front door. He wasn't just here because he wanted to wait for Red John.

But then, he thought as he walked inside. Maybe he was wrong too. Maybe Lisbon wasn't just angry about Red John either. He wished he'd had the courage to ask her.

xxxxx

TBC