A/N: Here's part 2.

xxxxx

Maybe she'd always expected to lose Jane.

After all, she's never been Jane's first priority, that's always been Red John. Every time the serial killer kills another victim Jane spins off on a path tangent to reality where reason and logic apparently can't reach him. So maybe, deep down, Lisbon had just always expected him to be distracted by other things that came up, no matter how much he cared.

Maybe Kristina Frye was just one of those other things.

Besides, her apparently attractive air of vulnerability (or whatever it was Jane and Mashburn had been complimenting her on all those months ago) notwithstanding, Lisbon's never been the type that men flock towards. They don't treat her like a leper or anything, but she's just never been all that good at the whole relationship thing.

Besides, she was a cop. She needed to look the part. Flirtation and feminine outfits sure weren't going to get her all that far in her chosen career. She was pretty enough, but she certainly wasn't anything special. She wasn't the type that men stopped and stared at. That was more likely to happen to Van Pelt. Actually, it was kind of funny when it did. Especially if Rigsby happened to be around.

And Lisbon was fine with the way she looked, really she was. If she had started getting a sudden bunch of male attention she wouldn't have even the slightest idea of what to do with it. She was sure she'd just be awkward and uncomfortable. She'd always been more comfortable in an interrogation room then on a first date anyway.

Sure, she probably could have gone out and slept with any number of men, but she didn't want to. She didn't want to have exciting sexual encounters with near strangers. She didn't want to go pick up guys in bars. That wasn't the type of thing she was after. She was fairly simple, no air of mystery, of flirtation. Just sensible Teresa Lisbon, who, in her experience, most people seemed to like. (Okay, the criminals she arrested, not so much, but she didn't care about them). Maybe she wasn't the most thrilling woman on the planet, but she had her moments.

Patrick Jane, on the other hand, seemed to positively crave excitement, drama, theatre. He was always poking his nose in people's relationships, wanting a challenge or even just a distraction of some kind. Jane always seemed to be in search of a diversion of some kind. And she certainly wasn't all that mysterious.

Kristina Frye though… she had that whole enigmatic thing down pat.

Insisting that she was a psychic, and then when Jane called her on it asking him with a secretive little smile if he didn't know her by now, which had doubtless only intrigued him further.

It had been all Lisbon could do not to roll her eyes at the pair of them.

But the woman knew what she was doing. And she'd kept Jane on his toes for literally days, a feat that Lisbon managed to accomplish maybe once a month, if she was lucky.

Patrick Jane wasn't the type to pass up a challenge.

Kristina was challenging.

So when the psychic provoked a serial killer Lisbon wasn't surprised when Jane wanted to go and watch over her.

Sure, Lisbonhadn't understood at the time why Frye had felt the need to go on television and say what she said (though she had a couple of ideas now). But she hadn't worried too much about it. Why Kristina Frye had chosen to be a moron wasn't Lisbon's problem. It didn't matter. All that mattered was trying to protect her after the fact.

Even if a part of Lisbon she wasn't particularly proud of could have quite happily left the other woman to fend for herself like she apparently wanted to.

Jane didn't see things that way. He couldn't stop puzzling over what Kristina had done and, more importantly, why she'd done it, all the while the need to both punish and protect fighting for dominance inside of him.

So when Jane insisted on going to watch over Kristina, despite the fact that she was already well protected, Lisbon wasn't surprised. Certainly not pleased, but not surprised. But what could she do? Forbid him from going there? She'd have to chain him to his couch to stop him. Either that or knock him unconscious. So she'd taken him. She'd glared her displeasure the entire way, and she'd yelled, but she'd taken him. Dropped him off at the other woman's door. Because apparently she was a masochist.

And as she drove away she tried to pretend that it didn't hurt, not even a little. That of course Jane was concerned for a friend, of course Jane would be this obsessed over any potential Red John victim, that Jane considered anyone that Red John killed now as a personal failure because he hadn't yet managed to kill the man himself. Lisbon tried not to feel upset that Jane had barely even listened to her arguments about why going to Kristina's to wait for a serial killer was a bad idea. She even tried to comfort herself with the idea that where Red John was concerned Jane was often beyond the reach of mere reason.

It didn't matter though.

When she drove away, leaving him there she just felt defeated. Defeated and upset.

Because not only did she have to deal with that damn serial killer all over again, but she had to deal with Jane and his undefined feelings for another woman on top of her own undefined feelings for Jane.

And she couldn't help feeling particularly stupid.

After all, Jane didn't owe her a thing. He hadn't broken a promise to her. He hadn't…

She'd admitted to herself long ago that neither her professional nor her personal relationship with Jane would likely end well.

This was what she'd expected. It was just happening sooner than she'd expected it to.

And you know what might have been the worst part? A small part of her couldn't help (stupidly) wishing that she could have been just the littlest bit mysterious.

xxxxx

He'd gone out on a date with a woman who'd either been colluding with Red John or been killed by him.

Jane didn't know what to think about that. For any number of reasons. He didn't know what he thought about it, and he definitely didn't know what Lisbon thought about it. Though he'd have liked to.

Actually, Lisbon was oddly calm about it all, at least on the surface. Didn't appear to really be jealous. A bit angry maybe, but almost like she'd been expecting it. Why should she have been expecting it? Of the two of them he was the one who should be expecting to be thrown out on his ear (though he probably would be now). Did Lisbon just anticipate betrayal from everyone now? Figure the only one she could trust was herself? The woman should be furious with him. Why wasn't she? Why hadn't she screamed, or thrown things? Okay, she'd snapped at him a couple of times, but that didn't count. Even if the two of them weren't exclusive, weren't even really in a relationship, surely she'd at least be feeling hurt. Had he wanted to hurt her? Was this just another one of his many attempts to push her away for her own good?

If it was, she wasn't quite reacting as expected.

But then he should have known Lisbon didn't ever do what he expected her to. Not where he was concerned at least.

Maybe he'd gone too far and now she didn't care about him one way or the other.

Sometimes, sometimes he just didn't understand her. Not like Kristina. Kristina he understood. Or thought he had at least. He and Kristina were two sides of the same coin. Master manipulators, the pair of them. He understood the way she thought because he thought the same way. They did the same job, even if they called it different things. Jane had thought they were on the same side using different methods, but now he wondered if she'd just been playing him. Either she'd been playing him or she was dead. Sometimes he wasn't sure which he preferred. Not because of arrogance, oh no. Not this time. Well, okay, maybe a little bit of it was pride. But mostly he was worried that if she had been playing him then she might now have information. And master manipulators liked information. Collected it as easily as a kid in costume collected candy on Halloween. Information was to be used against the target, in this case him. Either she was a danger to him, or she was in danger herself, or it didn't matter anymore.

Still, whether she was guilty, dead or in danger, Jane understood Kristina Frye.

It was Lisbon who was foreign to him. Lisbon who constantly put the needs of others before her own. Who appeared to be more concerned about his mental state than the fact that he'd been flirting with another woman. Who put her job first and everything else second. Who her team called with updates like clockwork, because they wanted her direction. Who still treated him like a friend despite his many betrayals. Who'd apparently given up on ever having the type of relationship she deserved. Lisbon who was dedicated and responsible and kind and just, who hated drama and theatrics, who was almost everything he wasn't.

Lisbon, who'd put her personal feelings aside to protect a woman who by rights she should have wanted to throw off a cliff.

Ironically, it was the things that made her different from him that comforted Jane the most. Maybe they were also the things that made her better for him. What would he and Kristina have done in the long run, even assuming she wasn't in league with a murdering psychopath? Kristina Frye may have been fond of Patrick Jane, amused and intrigued by him too. But neither of them would have ever backed down. Every moment they spent together would have been attempting to one-up the other, to prove mental superiority, him with his disdain for anything that smacked of charlatanism, her with her entire identity built around that very idea.

They'd have been sick of each other in a month.

He wasn't sick of Lisbon, not even years after first meeting her.

Lisbon was solid, Lisbon was comforting. He didn't know how she did it, but when she walked into a room she brought an air of control. Maybe it was just an illusion, but it didn't matter. Lisbon created calm.

Frye created waves.

And he didn't need any more disturbances. He'd had dinner with Kristina because he'd stupidly thought she represented normalcy. In reality she'd merely brought more chaos.

He'd sought comfort in the familiar, but in the end it was the opposite he craved. And it was only there that he found a moment's peace.

So why had he risked it all?

xxxxx

Throughout it all she'd been nothing but supportive.

Maybe that had been her mistake.

After all, she'd certainly not tried to separate the two of them, not even surreptitiously. And their mutual interest had been obvious.

When they first ran into Kristina Frye, the second psychic, Jane did what he always did when he felt threatened. He started showing off. Lisbon wasn't sure if he was trying to impress the girl or to assert his own superiority. It was always hard to tell with Jane whether ego or interest would win the day. Heck, in this case it was probably both.

Lisbon had originally thought that it would be a good idea to leave the two consultants alone for a while, maybe let them sort out what was going on between them. It was clear that Jane was intrigued, and the local sheriff certainly didn't need to be exposed to any more of his nonsense. Plus, if Lisbon was honest she didn't particularly want to watch them circle each other either. Somehow Jane's obvious fascination with Frye wasn't quite so funny this time around.

Maybe even then she'd known there was something different about it.

This time Jane's mockery had been more amused and less annoyed. There'd been less disgust and irritation and more interest.

Well, if Jane wanted to broaden his horizons it was probably a good thing. And the sooner Lisbon found out about it the better.

So when Kristina had called her to ask where Jane was going to be, she'd given the information willingly. Told the woman to meet him and Van Pelt at the motel where they were searching for one of the Carmens (thought they hadn't actually known there were two at that point). Why not tell her where Jane was though? The woman was trying to help with the case. Jane could probably use a friend or two. Lisbon had no good reason not to be pleasant to Kristina Frye, professionally or otherwise.

Lisbon had known Jane liked her. She'd watched the two consultants watch Van Pelt interrogate the still-living Carmen. Jane's eyes kept flicking to the psychic. He couldn't help himself.

While she got to stand back and watch it all.

And then, she got to watch it some more, when she assigned Jane and herself to the first shift of Kristina's protection detail. After all, he'd want to be there because of Red John, and as the team leader she should probably take the first shift.

So she had.

The stupid house really did look like a day spa, and a pretentious, expensive one at that.

She really wasn't comfortable there in the slightest.

She wanted to get the hell out.

Now.

But that wasn't an option. Instead of getting to leave she got to watch her consultant as he watched another woman like a hawk while she faded into the background mentally berating herself.

Had she inadvertently been pushing the two of them together? Did Jane think that that's what she'd been doing? That it didn't matter to her one way or another what he did?

That's not what she'd been doing. She didn't think so at least.

She'd just been trying to be professional. She'd promised herself that she wouldn't let her personal relationship with Jane (such as it was) affect her work. Ever.

Or maybe it'd been some kind of a test. A test to see what Jane would do, how he would act.

Maybe he'd failed.

Except that there hadn't been anything for him to fail.

After all, you weren't breaking the rules if there weren't any rules to break in the first place.

xxxxx

Everything about the damn date had been awkward in the end. Well, almost everything.

When he'd first asked Kristina for coffee, he'd been more uncomfortable than he'd been in a long time.

Jane admitted that he'd probably sounded like a fool. Awkward and uncertain, maybe even guilty as he stood there, oh so casually, asking Kristina if she'd wanted to join him for coffee. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, feeling the need to clarify that he'd have tea. (He wouldn't have needed to clarify with Lisbon; she'd have just known. He didn't babble like an idiot with Teresa.)

No wonder the woman had asked him point blank if it was the first time he'd dated since his wife.

How was he supposed to answer that question? He could have said yes, but would she have left it at that? Jane certainly wasn't about to engage in a discussion about he felt about the whole thing, whether he felt any guilt about it, whether he was ready to move on (the answer which was proved to be almost certainly no).

He remembered Kristina kissing him by the elevator back at the CBI, after their date ended abruptly thanks to Red John. She'd had the foresight not to make it anything more than a kiss on the cheek. He'd been distracted, no longer caring about their evening. The one he'd been about to end for other reasons anyway. Grace's phone call had just saved him another awkward conversation.

On the other hand, Grace's phone call summoning him to the CBI also ensured that Lisbon found out about his dinner with Kristina, something he deliberately hadn't told her about.

Because he was a coward. And he'd told himself that it was just dinner between two friends, that Lisbon wouldn't have minded, that he was technically allowed to have dinner with whomever he chose.

Now she'd think he'd hidden it from her. Which he had.

Still, Grace had saved him from having to tell Kristina that he wanted to cut their evening short just as the arrival of their waiter earlier in the evening had allowed him to avoid talking about his wife and his recent lack of dating experience.

Of course, just as Grace's phone call had been both a blessing and a curse, the waiter's timely interruption had also started it, the psychic messages from the dead. Or maybe those were a set up. After all, Red John had certainly known about the message Kristina had relayed to the waiter from his dead uncle. The fact that the masked man had whispered "Roll Tide" was hardly a coincidence. Either the waiter had been involved, or someone else at the restaurant, or Frye herself.

Jane was sick of going around and around in his head about which it was.

Even before Kristina's potential kidnapping/escape into hiding, his date with her hadn't been ideal.

Oh, the conversation over their main courses had been fine. He'd been charming. He could almost always be charming after all. He was good at that, didn't much matter who his target was. And Kristina had, for whatever reason, wanted to be charmed.

Then all of a sudden he'd been looking at her, laughing and his stories, claiming that she didn't believe him (and who could blame her?), looking so pretty, and so happy, and the reality of what he was doing had come crashing down on him in a wave.

He supposed after the awkward beginning and his mixed motivations that he'd never expected things to ever go this well.

To his credit he'd gotten to the men's room before fully allowing the anxiety to hit.

Jane remembered standing in that washroom twisting his wedding ring on his finger. All of a sudden the guilt had hit him like a wave. What was he doing here? Dining out with another woman! He always told women he was married, or barring that used Lisbon as an excuse. Sure, she didn't know he did it, but it was often convenient given his frequent general proximity to his boss.

Speaking of which, why was he feeling guilty now? It was just dinner. Though even his brain didn't quite believe that. Everyone knew it was dinner with the possibility of more. He hadn't actually been planning on sleeping with Kristina. But there was always the chance for coffee later, for a kiss, for something. They hadn't gotten anywhere near that yet, and still there was guilt.

He'd never felt guilty like this with Lisbon. Okay, there'd been some guilt the first few nights they'd spent together. And sometimes there was guilt still, though it wasn't often related to his wife, but more to what he might be doing to the woman he was with. And Jane had never experienced this raw, gut-wrenching guilt when he'd taken Teresa out to dinner, or when he'd cooked for her in her own kitchen. What guilt he had felt on his wife's behalf had been nothing like this.

It made him wonder, pacing around the small washroom, exactly which woman he felt he was betraying.

xxxxx

Lisbon hasn't talked to him about the date yet.

She says 'yet' like she was planning on talking to him about it later. Like she was going to sit him down and scream at him, demand to know what the hell he'd been thinking. Whether he'd even thought about her at all.

Whether he'd have wanted to date Kristina again if she hadn't disappeared into thin air a few days later.

Lisbon doesn't think she can ever confront him. After all, if she does that's an acknowledgement of how much he means to her. And she's feeling betrayed right now. She doesn't want to acknowledge how much he means to her, even if that would let her keep him.

She can't. She can't acknowledge how serious this might be getting (might have gotten?). It was never supposed to be serious. For so, so many reasons.

And if she asks him about the date then she'll have to tell him how hurt she is that he didn't even bother to tell her about it beforehand. Not that he should have. They aren't exclusive.

And then they'd probably have to talk about exclusivity.

She'd prefer not to have to hear him say that he was interested in another woman and that he might be again. Or maybe she was wrong. Maybe Jane would be okay with making whatever they had exclusive.

But that would make it a relationship.

Making it a relationship was a bad idea, for so, so many reasons.

Jane is still in love with his ex-wife. And Lisbon's terrible at romance at the best of times. These aren't the best of times. Somehow they've slipped whatever they're doing under Hightower's radar (something she's both smug about and grateful for at the same time). Formalizing what they have would make it harder to conceal. And then there's Red John to consider.

What would the serial killer do if he thought Jane was moving on with his life?

Frye might be an answer to that question, depending on which side the woman was on.

So they don't talk about it. So Lisbon doesn't know if any (or all) of this has occurred to Patrick Jane. She doesn't know why he thought it would be a good idea to openly (and cruelly) flirt with another woman right in front of her.

She'd thought that he wasn't anywhere near ready for a relationship; that he couldn't move on from his past. Now she's left with the suspicion that he just didn't want to make the effort with her.

And she feels like a coward because she can't bring herself to say anything about it.

She's worried that his answer would crack what little faith in the people around her that she has left.

As it is, he's made no promise, and they can carry on in a vague sort of denial.

He hasn't technically broken his word. But she still feels like he has betrayed her.

And she didn't know what to do about any of it.

xxxxx

She'd, she'd, she'd gone and done the absolute worst thing she could have possibly done! The ONE thing he'd have told her not to. If Kristina'd ever condescended to ask his opinion on the subject.

But obviously she knew exactly what she was doing. Didn't need his advice. What did he know about going on television and antagonizing serial killers anyway?

Jane had thought her near constant relaying of messages from the great beyond was obnoxious, but this was beyond anything that he could have possibly imagined.

She'd told Red John that she was listening, to reach out, get help, to change. Didn't she realize that Red John didn't want to change? Even he knew that.

Stupid, stupid woman.

Lisbon would have never done anything so stupid. Lisbon was sensible. Always so sensible. So sensible sometimes it was easy to forget how sensible she was.

Whereas he was panicking. Again. He was furious with Kristina, but he insisted on protection. He'd brought her within Red John's sphere after all. If Kristina hadn't met him it was quite probable that she'd have gone on swindling fools out of their money with that small-town practice of hers. Maybe a bit exploitive, but overall generally harmless.

It'd obviously given her an inflated sense of her own self worth. Because the fact that she might be in danger obviously hadn't even crossed her mind.

Whereas he could barely look at her. Even Lisbon seemed to be getting frustrated with her constant drivel about contacting people who'd "passed over."

With each passing moment he'd been so sure she was going to be Red John's next victim. And what had she done, she'd yelled at him and ordered him out of her house.

Well, good riddance. She'd probably been helping Red John the whole time anyway.

He was going to turn his focus back onto the serial killer. He needed to. Before any other women were put in danger.

Besides, he had a clue now, a message.

And he wasn't going to tell Lisbon about it. Oh, he knows that she's worried, that she suspects. But Red John is his.

Maybe this is a sign that he should keep his distance.

He looked Red John in the eye. Kristina had been right about one thing. Red John wasn't a monster; he as a man. He could bleed like anyone else. He had flaws and he made mistakes. And that's how Jane would catch him.

That's how he would keep everyone safe.

That's why he was lying on a mattress beneath a bloody smiley face reciting the poetry of William Blake to himself over and over again.

It made him feel almost calm.

xxxxx

Jane was gone.

Jane was gone.

He wasn't at the CBI. Hightower had gone to check on him and he hadn't been there. He wasn't answering his phone. She had a message from him on her voicemail, but he wasn't where he'd said he'd be and there were signs of a struggle inside the abandoned hotel that he'd told her about.

Plus, Jane still wasn't answering his damn phone!

And Lisbon was trying not to panic.

She didn't know quite what to do. The damn case being what it was there was no way of knowing who the hell Jane had rushed after, or who'd grabbed him. It could have been Frye, it could have been Red John, or it could have simply been related to Marley's killer.

Cho tried to tell her he was sure Jane was alright, that the consultant always made it through in the end.

Lisbon wasn't so sure.

But she'd done what had to be done. She called everybody back to the office. Van Pelt had started a trace on Jane's phone. That's when another alert had popped up on her screen. One addressed to Lisbon specifically, with an address. An address of where she'd find her consultant, unharmed if incapacitated. Well, him and the murderers. Signed, Dr. Joe, N.H.

That's when she'd switched over to auto-pilot, let the cop part of her brain just take over.

She'd started barking out orders left and right, called for an emergency team to that location the second that Van Pelt's trace of Jane's phone confirmed the location, told the local authorities to exercise extreme caution, that they'd meet them there. Made sure her boss had no objection to it all, told her team to suit up. Within minutes the four of them were back in their SUV, speeding off to (hopefully) rescue her consultant.

She didn't let herself think about the alternatives, that Jane was already dead. Or that they were walking into a trap and the four of them soon would be.

She'd been expecting any number of things when she stormed into the building. She'd never anticipated three bodies on the ground and Jane tied to a chair, angry and terrified.

She'd approached him first, cautiously, carefully, after making sure that this wasn't a trap.

"Jane," she called.

"Lisbon," he said tiredly. "I knew you'd come."

Then he saw her face. "What is it?" he asked. "Is it Kristina?"

She should have known that would be his first reaction, but she tamped down her annoyance as she began to loosen his bonds. She shook her head. "No," she said. "Still no word."

"Then what?" he asked.

"Shh…" she told him. "Later. Let's get you out of here first."

"I'm fine Lisbon," he insisted.

"Oh yeah, you're just great," she muttered.

"Lisbon," he repeated, "How did you know I was here?"

"We traced your phone when you weren't waiting at the diner like you said you'd be," she explained. She should have known her attempt at evasion wouldn't work.

"What aren't you telling me?" he asked.

She sighed. He'd find out sooner or later. "Red John sent us a message telling us where you'd be."

Jane swore. Then he'd explained to her what'd happened at the crime scene, exactly who had been responsible for the three gunshot victims.

Jane had come face to face with the serial killer. Well sort of. At the very least he'd looked into the man's eyes. Lisbon tried not to shudder at the thought.

He'd insisted that Red John hadn't said anything to him, nothing beyond killing the copycats for daring to impersonate the master.

Lisbon wasn't sure she believed him. Actually, she knew she didn't believe him. Especially not after the past few days.

But she hadn't pressed him. Not then. She was too relieved to see him alive, breathing and unharmed. At least physically. Lord only knew what psychological effects would linger. And a visit to the departmental shrink certainly wouldn't clear them up.

She was trying to remain objective. She wanted him close to protect and guard, but she wasn't sure how close she wanted him anymore.

Maybe Kristina Frye had been a sign.

Or maybe she'd just been a manipulative woman who'd upset all of their lives. Another pawn in one of Red John's games.

Maybe she'd been part of a ploy to destabilize the team.

It was working.

Jane still hadn't talked to her about his intentions towards Kristina, whatever they'd been. But that wasn't all he was keeping from her anymore.

At least his reticence regarding his personal feelings for Ms. Frye that was understandable. And Lisbon hadn't actually asked him about Kristina directly.

She had asked him about what had happened when he'd come face to face with Red John.

Multiple times.

She'd tried not to pry, tried not to force him. She was trying to be sensitive, knew it was a tough subject for the man. But still he shut her out, lied to her.

He didn't trust her.

And she felt like she might not mean a thing to him all over again.

She didn't like it.

She still didn't want to give up on him completely. He still dropped by her office, her couch, even her home, though not her bed. They still found a measure of comfort in each other, but not in the same way. They hadn't had much between them, but what little they had was changed.

And she still didn't know whether she thought that was good or bad.

xxxxx

He hadn't told her about Kristina to protect her.

What if Hightower suspected that he, Patrick Jane, unstable, unruly, unprofessional consultant extraordinaire had feelings of an inappropriate nature for his boss? Strong feelings, stronger than he wanted to admit to, even to himself.

Lisbon would suffer.

And what if Red John knew about those feelings. He undoubtedly knew so much more than Hightower did.

Red John had sent her a message about where she could find him after he'd been kidnapped. The serial killer had addressed it to Lisbon specifically. Was that just because she was the head of the unit? Or was it because the psycho knew that Lisbon had the most reason to care what happened to him. At least, she used to.

Obviously Jane needed to deflect attention from how much he cared about his Teresa.

Or maybe not his Teresa, not anymore.

He supposed he could tell her all of this, but it wasn't wise. The more people who were unaware, the better. Even if one of those people was Lisbon herself. It would make it look all the more authentic.

And anyway, deflecting attention from Teresa wasn't the only reason he'd asked Kristina to dinner. He could admit that, would admit that. If she ever asked, he'd have even told Lisbon herself.

Part of him almost hoped she would ask.

And then he'd tell her everything, wouldn't be able to help himself. The hope that it might matter just a little bit to her would be too hard to resist.

But then he'd be forced to admit how important she was. How much he wanted her. How much more comfortable she made him feel. That she was the person he cared the most about alive on the planet.

And that would make it harder to keep away.

As it was he was already doing a terrible job of that.

So he never brought up the evening he'd spent with Kristina, knowing that his silence on the subject was keeping them apart.

Because even a pleasant evening with Kristina hadn't been anywhere near as pleasant as a good evening with Teresa.

With Kristina there'd been constant competition. With Lisbon there were challenges, and there was a spark, but there was more than that. There was a rush of feeling whenever he touched her, a sense of quiet in her presence. There was easy laughter, shared meals, , shared experiences. There was a desire to protect, to help, to keep safe.

There was a sense that they might be able to help each other. In the end.

And that was what tore him up inside.

It stopped him from completely breaking off ties with the woman. That sneaky suspicion that maybe whatever the hell was between them might be good for both of them. Even if he was terrified to pursue it.

Teresa.

His subtly beautiful Teresa.

How had he let himself be distracted? And by someone possibly complicit with his god damn nemesis? He should have had his guard up.

After all, Red John had already proven more than once that he could get to literally anybody.

Well, almost anybody.

The only person Jane could be 100% sure of anymore is Lisbon.

And look what he's done to her.

She's the only person he trusts utterly and completely. And he's treated her terribly because he doesn't extend that same trust back to her. Not to mention he seriously damaged whatever was between them because he was distracted by a pretty face and manipulative mouth.

So where does that leave the two of them?

What does that make him? Beyond an idiot of course.

Why should she forgive him? He's not willing to explain, to take a chance, not with her life. So he may never get her back.

xxxxx

Lisbon doesn't know where they go from here.

She certainly isn't about to let her working relationship with Jane be affected by Kristina Frye, though the serial killer would, as he always did, leave a mark.

She doesn't want her friendship with Jane to be affected either. She had so few friends after all. Jane has even fewer. It isn't in her to abandon him to the wolves because of a single choice that she didn't agree with.

Actually two choices.

He's choosing to lie to her again.

As always.

She doesn't mind an undefined relationship. But she can't deal with feeling like she's a constant second choice.

He's disrupted their fragile balance.

She doesn't want to lose him, but she also isn't sure she wants to keep him either.

Not that she's ever thought she'd be able to keep him, not permanently anyway.

She isn't sure she trusts him.

She doesn't know what she wants.

But she's terrified of what might happen to him, cares about him enough that she doesn't want him to be alone.

She doesn't want to be alone either.

Maybe if he asks she'll let him partway in again.

Maybe…

xxxxx

Could he even go to Lisbon after what he's done? He doesn't deserve it.

She can't possibly believe a single word he says anymore.

He never thought he'd be able to keep her anyway.

But she did tend to give him what he didn't, doesn't deserve.

He needs to take a chance.

So he finds himself standing outside her door, late at night, knocking, hoping, praying, wishing.

She lets him in.

She makes him tea, just the way he likes it.

She holds his hand. Tightly.

She lets him hold her just as tightly in her living room, his arms wrapped around her for as long as he'd needs to.

She doesn't ask him to explain himself. In fact, she doesn't really speak at all.

She just tosses him a blanket and lets him sleep on her couch.

And he feels some slight comfort in the knowledge that she's still near, that he hasn't completely lost her.

Not quite yet.

But he really doesn't know how many chances he has left.

xxxxx

The end

xxxxx

Hey! Don't look at me like that. It's not MY fault it's depressing. Blame the writers. They were the ones who wrote the season finale. I did what I could. There's probably going to be a companion to this sometimes mid-season three. Possibly more. We'll see what happens in the new season.