EPILOGUE

Author's notes: This chapter was formerly the one shot named Jane's Lisbon but while writing my new story I realized it fit better here. Fro those who haven't read it, it's the'Jane-centric' chapter I've promised die hard Jisbon fans, you know who you are ;) Special thanks to Jisbon4ever, Alydia Rackman, Little Mender and shepewir always for their helpful reviews.

Warning: some spoilers for Ball of Fire. Also, most of the dialogue in quotes was taken from the episode Red Hot, italics are Jane's thoughts, sentences in bold are, you'll see.

DISCLAIMER: The Mentalist does not belong to me. It is the creation of Bruno Heller. I'm writing this fiction to express my love for the series and maybe vent a little.


Jane had insomnia.

Which sounded ridiculous, even to him. He always had insomnia. But the reason this time was entirely different.

First off, he was in pain. Getting electrocuted by a cattle prod did that to a man.

But it wasn't the pain that kept him up, rather thoughts regarding a certain dark haired boss who had been kidnapped with him, and how good it had been to sit with her after they were rescued.

Lisbon had joined him on his couch, a huge smile on her face. Jane commented on it, just to see her reaction. As he expected, Lisbon brushed off how relieved his return made her, and instead cited the fact that they solved the case without him as being the cause of her happiness.

"You were kidnapped and delivered to me. That counts as solving one?" he had countered.

Huh. In retrospect the first part of that statement sounds quite interesting, Jane thought.

Quickly pulling his mind out of the gutter, Jane instead reflected on how nice it had been to just joke around with Lisbon. They hadn't had that luxury for a long time now and he was surprised at how much he'd missed it. His thoughts then turned to Mashburn.

Did she joke like that with him? Probably. Walter likes a good laugh.

Jane wondered if the man would get in touch with Lisbon after he got back from his trip. He hoped so. With all the things that have been happening recently, Lisbon could use a good distraction.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

Why hello Angela. Nice of you to visit.

I am very unhappy with you.

I've missed you.

Don't change try to deflect.

Is this about Lisbon?

Wow, you must be psychic.

Now that's a low blow. Don't you think you're overreacting?

Me? I'm not the one who got my crush to sleep with a tall, good-looking, charming billionaire!

Wait, what? You really think he's good-looking?

Patrick, I'm dead, not blind. And I'm not the one you should be worried about.

I don't see what the problem is.

She slept with him!

Seems that way.

And you're trying to tell me you don't care.

Well, no you're wrong about that.

I knew it!

I'm happy for her.

Oh, for the love of-

I am. Now enough about me. How's the afterlife?

Oh that's rich coming from someone who doesn't believe in it.

Oh I don't know. The way Kristina Frye talks about it, she makes it sound pretty real.

Quit changing the subject. You're just trying to stop me from giving you the lecture you deserve.

I don't need to stop you my dear, you're not even real. I'm just pretending to talk to you cause I miss you and I like the company.

No, I'm here because even your subconscious knows you're being an idiot.

How so?

Why on earth would you set Teresa up with Mashburn when you two obviously care about together?

You mean besides the fact that I'm still in love with you and that she's a dear friend?

Yes, besides that. Cause I'm dead, so get over me already, and as to the second reason, we both know that's BS.

Tsk, tsk. Such language.

That's rich coming from someone who was just thinking perverted thoughts about his so called 'good friend and colleague'.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Nice try. Like you just pointed out, I'm your subconscious. I know what you're thinking so trying to deny something from yourself is useless.

Angela, we've been through this before, I don't feel like going over it again. But to answer you… why did I set Lisbon and Mashburn up... It's actually a good question. But here's a better one. Why do I do anything?

You know, I never quite figured that one out.

Well, at first I had just enjoyed watching her squirm…

"My god, you're just so obsessed with Mashburn."

"You're the one who brought him up."

"What is it with you two…."

You see my dear; I hadn't actually observed anything between them at that point, other than the fact that Walter had obviously used the case to see us again.

Yes, and after so long. He was obviously up to something.

Don't be paranoid. He was probably just bored and remembered the last time he'd had any fun was when he was a suspect in our investigation. I entertained him, and he had been attracted to Lisbon. Oh he tried to play it cool, pretending that he had forgotten her name. I reminded him with a firm 'Lisbon'. Annoyingly, he chose to forgo it and instead called her Teresa. Guess he remembered her first name just fine.

I know, the nerve of the man! What I don't get is why Teresa let him.

Oh, she was probably just being polite. Though I admit it irked me a bit. Even I don't call her Teresa.

Though you do introduce her as Teresa.

Well, that's different. It's not like I can introduce her by her last name, that's just weird. Anyway, he obviously brought us there because he wanted to see her. But until then there was nothing to indicate the attraction was anything other than one sided; his side.

Then you had to have him join you in the investigation.

I had a hunch we'd need him, so I texted him on our way to the 'glamping' place. He had been as zealous as ever, happy to help, and to spend time with his current quest. And I was happy enough to observe them. Their interaction was intriguing.

Yeah? So what did you observe from the 'pupil dilation' incident….

Hard to say, honey. When I explained the phenomenon to Walter, he had grinned widely at Lisbon. I followed his stare to look into her eyes. Unfortunately, Lisbon chose that moment to glance away, so I didn't get a chance to see what he did. But his want was obvious. And he was completely unapologetic about it. He was probably glad I had indirectly pointed out his desire for her.

But you tried to read her afterwards, looked at her again.

Yeah, and she shook her head at me, as if to say 'don't even try'. I couldn't even if I had wanted to anyway. By then, Mashburn had moved out of her line of sight.

But a seed of suspicion had been planted?

You could say that. And I still held on to my belief that some empty glamour would be good for her.

Is that why you introduced her as Mashburn's new girlfriend at his party?

Brilliant wasn't it? And she couldn't get mad at me cause I did so under the guise of breaking up Mashburn's fight with Shankar.

It certainly worked. The man was ecstatic.

I know. I had given him an advantage in his pursuit of her.

If you were really so pleased with yourself then why'd you leave the party early?

I had one champagne too many.

And why was that?

I was disappointed that, after all the trouble I went through finding him, Shankar didn't turn out to be the culprit. So after raiding the oyster bar I called it a night.

Not because it felt strange hearing Mashburn's friends gossip about him and Teresa?

Oh it had been interesting to hear the speculations. The few people who actually seemed to care about Walter thought 'Teresa' looked like a good woman and would finally be the one to make him happy. But the majority thought (and a lot of women hoped) that it wouldn't last a month.

Turns out one woman was way too invested in his personal affairs.

Elsa? Yeah, I found out the next morning when Lisbon asked me to sit in when she and Cho questioned her. Said that Walter's ex tried to kill him….

"Hurt Valter? I would never hurt Walter."

Lisbon had looked back at me to see how I reacted to the woman's claim. Early day's Lisbon, I conveyed with a look, focusing on the crazy blond woman.

"I love him and he love me. It was you I was going to kill, you little slut".

"Excuse me?"

Lisbon had been shocked, but I had suspected as much. Elsa's body language was totally antagonistic towards Lisbon.

"You kissed him."

That was interesting.

"I did not." Lisbon countered.

Even straight faced Cho had been caught off guard, and glanced at our esteemed boss.

"I didn't," she insisted to Cho.

She sounded so adorable when she denied it, so flustered.

So you admit she's adorable!

Well, it goes without saying, sweetheart. I also found it intriguing that Lisbon didn't feel the need to try to convince me. Probably cause she was afraid I'd tease her mercilessly and be able to see right through her nonchalant act. Anyway….

"You were about to", the woman accused.

"I did not kiss him", Lisbon insisted once more to Cho, again in that same self-conscious way.

Seriously, she couldn't have been any cuter if she tried.

This coming from the man who says he doesn't have a crush on her.

Angela, just because I think she's endearing doesn't mean I have a crush on her. I mean, Cho was quite endearing too, in the awkwardness of the situation…

"None of my business", the fellow agent had quickly stated.

Good old Cho. He was probably trying to set Lisbon at ease.

"You're totally wrong for him", the model stated scornfully.

Oh, Elsa was going to get nasty, wasn't she, I suspected.

"So little and bony".

Yes she was. From where I was standing I was able to see the stricken look on Lisbon's face. It wasn't a look I liked on our strong confident leader.

It didn't suit her.

"Well, she does have a damaged intensity that some people might find attractive", I told Elsa, purposefully using Mashburn's description of Lisbon, reminding her that regardless of what this woman thought, she, Teresa, was what Walter wanted. It worked. The stung look disappeared from her face and cop Lisbon was back…

"Elsa you admitted to assault with a deadly weapon on a cop. You could get ten years if you don't cooperate. Now who did you hire and are they still after Walter?"

Lisbon was being perfectly professional. But that wasn't going to work with the crazy model….

"Cooperate? So you can tell Walter what a hero you are? How you save him from me. Then he kiss you again huh? That is what you want bitch?"

She didn't say that!

She did, and more….

"No go suck our own face. I don't cooperate."

And Lisbon, the sweetheart has obviously never been the object of another woman's jealousy and malice. She was completely out of her element, and it was painful to see.

And you just sat there and let the woman verbally assault her? I'm ashamed of you.

Now dear, you know I'm a gentleman.

So what did you do?

Well, it was time for me to step up. I put my hand on Elsa's wrist…

"What are you doing?"

"Getting familiar. You were at Walters to watch over him weren't you?" I had said, mimicking her accent to put her at ease, and yes, to make fun of her a little."To keep him safe from women like Lisbon."

Lisbon widened her eyes at me then, and I knew exactly what she was thinking: don't reinforce her sick ideas!

She's just too delightful. I almost grinned, but kept a straight face and continued reading Elsa. I was able to confirm that the model was spying on Walter and kept photos of him on her cell phone.

Yeah, yeah, you looked out for Lisbon, and found new evidence. Good for you. I don't have a problem with that. My problem is what happened afterwards…

She and Rigsby went over the photos and I retreated into my attic. Only Rigsby came to find me, telling me that they found a photo of Walter with Yuri's bodyguard. I left the privacy of my new hideout and instead fell asleep on her couch, waiting for her to show up. I didn't doubt where this newly discovered evidence would lead her thoughts.

How'd you know?

Honey, this is Lisbon we're talking about, mother of suspicion and trust issues. And she didn't disappoint me. She came in, upset that she was armed with evidence that Walter was now the most viable suspect.

"Walter's a bad boy so what? Corporate espionage happens all the time."

See, this is what's got me angry. Why would you reassure her of his innocence?

Angela, you would have me accuse an innocent man of murder just because he likes Lisbon. Death has changed you.

I told Lisbon she was wrong to suspect Walter and that we needed to talk to Yuri's wife, that she was the key to solving the case but I didn't extrapolate further. After all, I wasn't sure myself exactly what her part was. What I did know was that Walter was too convenient of a suspect. I was right, of course. Walter was guiltless and the drama of him being a suspect ended up getting the two lovebirds together.

Oh don't act so innocent. You practically told Mashburn to ask her out.

So?

So? What if she ends up liking him?

She does like him.

What if she likes him even more!

Good for her. And good for me too because then I don't have to worry about her worrying about me.

The man called you a charlatan! How can you be so calm about this?

I like him. I like her. I'm glad to see them together. What's so hard to believe?

You're hopeless. I don't know why I bother talking to you.

Because you love me and you know I'm lonely.

No. Because you're in love and in denial and you thought who better to support you in your denial then your own subconscious channeled as your dead wife. Well guess what, your subconscious remembers your dead wife all too well, and although she indulged you in your games, she eventually called you on them.

Jane smiled ruefully.

You just don't get it. As long as Lisbon's close to me, she's in danger. Just today she was kidnapped with the intent of being killed in front of me just for revenge. And this was a small time criminal, not even Red John.

Didn't she almost get shot protecting Mashburn?

But that was in the line of duty; as a cop, not as his girlfriend.

You're right. As his girlfriend, she almost got stabbed by a crazy ex. That's much better.

Jane sighed.

Good night Angela.

His wife didn't get it. But it didn't matter. She was just a figment of his imagination. A creation of his mind, and he understood himself perfectly.

A few months ago, Jane might have been jealous that his best friend had a man in her life that managed to captivate her attention as completely as Jane did. But that was before his run in with Red John.

Now, he wholeheartedly supported the relationship. Lisbon had been too caught up in his life, worrying about him for too long. Walter would provide her with a concrete distraction, maybe even some perspective. He'd make her realize that she didn't have to fight for everything.

Most of all, if she let him in close enough Walter would be there to pick up the pieces after Jane's inevitable betrayal broke her.

Knowing he would, Jane was more than happy to share her with Mashburn. Walter may have her now, and if he played his cards right might get in her in the end. But that was only because Jane gave her up; if it wasn't for him, Walter would never have had a chance. After all, she was Jane's first.

No matter what happened, she'll always be his.

That thought firmly in place, Jane was finally able to sleep.