Disclaimer: I don't own The Mentalist.

Summary: The thought had come to mind more than once, and as Jane watched her try to recreate the infamous paper frog, he realized that Teresa Lisbon might just be the only thing keeping him grounded. Keeping him sane. Jisbon, oneshot

Uh...yeah. Not sure where this came from, I just got the urge to write a bunch for The Mentalist and whatnot. I just love Jisbon - they're one of my favorite pairings ever, so I guess it makes sense that I write them. I've written for them before, but just now I've watched the show again and my love for it has been rekindled. Please enjoy this fic! I know I'll enjoy writing it!

Paper Frog, Paper Heart

Jane had been close to losing it, several times before.

Not like the time where he went completely AWOL and had to be institutionalized, but there have been times that he might have been seen as...questionable regarding his duty to the team.

It's not like he can't control himself - he can. He's been rather good at controlling himself when the subject of Red John is brought up. Usually he feels like he's going to explode, scream and cry and curse at the world all at the same time, but he doesn't. Composure has always been one of Jane's strong points, but there are times when even he has his limits.

Like when that infernal "psychic" told him that his daughter never woke up during... He had broken down then, who wouldn't have?

Like when they found a woman who had actually shared a home with him, only to find out that she was blind.

Like when they were so close to catching him, but he had ended the life of Red John's pawn without second thought because...she had been in danger.

Like now.

They had been on the trail of another clue to find Red John, and though Jane ought to have known better about such things, he told himself that this time they would get him. This time they would find that infernal bastard and he could end the murderer's life with his own hands. Jane had long since decided that that was what he would do if they ever caught Red John - and they would, he had to keep reminding himself - and he was at peace with the fact that he would be thrown into prison as well. As long as that scum was gone, and gone by his hands, then he would be fine with whatever sentence they handed out.

But that was beside the point.

The point was, that they were at the office after another futile chase against Red John. They had come up empty handed, nothing to show for their efforts except the lingering disappointment in the air, and Jane's raging pulse.

He was pretty sure that everyone was avoiding him on purpose. Van Pelt gave him one of those kind, sweet smiles that she does so well. Rigsby gave him a pat on the back. Cho looked at him like he always does - with a stare of understanding, knowing exactly what Jane is going through without voicing it. And Lisbon...

Lisbon had gone off to her desk, hadn't said a word to him. He hadn't even bothered going over to see her, but the rage was boiling over inside him, something that had a life of its own. A beast within him, so to speak.

Jane didn't know that he wanted to see her. All he knew was that he felt a compulsion to at least look at her.

There was something there in her features that always seemed to calm him. Whether they be set in a frown, a smile, an angry glare. There was something about Lisbon that made him feel...calm.

He walked over to her desk, wondering what she would be doing. Painstakingly typing out a report of the events, possibly? Immersing herself in her work was something that Lisbon was impossibly good at, and Jane only wished he had that kind of focus when it came to things other than Red John and the murder of his loving wife and beautiful child.

Lisbon was there, but there was no computer on her desk, just the determined set of her mouth, eyes focused on a piece of paper that she folding within her hands, making something that looked awfully familiar.

"Paper frog?"

Lisbon jumped slightly, not expecting him there. She must have been completely absorbed in what she was doing, a trait that he often associated with the his lovely dark haired boss. Like he had said before, it was something that he wished he was able to do. He envied her.

The telltale signs of a blush crept on her cheeks. He was one of the only people in this world that could make her do that, he knew, and it made him slightly arrogant.

"Er, yeah."

"It's quite good."

Lisbon scoffed, before she opened the drawer to her left and presented to him the exact same frog he had made for her so long ago. It was in perfect condition, except for a few tears where they shouldn't be, but that was to be expected, anyway.

"You kept it?" Jane cocked his head to the side, looking at her quizzically.

Lisbon looked at him, "Yeah."

He was about to reply with something smart, but she spoke again. "Don't read too much into it, Jane."

"I'd never," he replied cheekily.

Lisbon seemed to ignore him for a moment, returning her attention to the frog in front of her. Her lips were pursed, her eyes concentrating on the task.

"Bend that piece behind the other one." Jane offered, and the dark haired woman looked up at him with sharp eyes.


"May I?" Jane reached out his hand and grasped the half-completed paper frog. She looked as if she were about to protest, but she let him do as he pleased. Her eagle vision was on him the whole time, however, as if taking in every minute detail that he changed on that silly frog.

With a few more twists of his fingers - folding things here and there, bending things back the right way - the frog was completed, and he sat it in front of her. Lisbon looked at it in awe, her eyes wide and mouth slightly parted. She gazed up at him, and Jane grinned in response - a grin that he was certainly not capable just minutes earlier, that was for sure - before tapping the little frog gently on the head.

He watched as seconds later, the frog leaped forward, causing the same light to shine in Lisbon's eyes as the first time that that had occurred. A reluctant, yet brilliant smile lit her face, and he could've sworn he heard her gasp at it. Maybe she wasn't expecting it, after all.

Jane smiled at her, and again, the gesture was completely involuntary. He didn't know what it was about this woman that made him feel lighter even after his darkest hours, but he wasn't complaining.

The blonde reached over and nudged the newest paper frog to the old one, so the parts that constituted their legs touched. "Now," he said, satisfied, "the other one won't be so lonely."

Lisbon rolled her eyes slightly at that, "Sure." But despite her tone, she made no move to draw the two frogs away from each other.

Jane smiled at Lisbon one last time before walking over to his couch. He sat down rather unceremoniously, and moved himself so he was lying down, hoping that he could maybe catch a few hours of sleep.

While slung over the familiar and comfortable contours of the couch, Jane couldn't help but notice that he felt...lighter than he had before, and that he knew what was the cause of the welcome feeling, even if she didn't know it herself.

The last image he had before he drifted off into one of those rare, peaceful bouts of sleep was the image of her face, unwilling gleeful as that paper frog jumped toward her.


And there it is! My latest Mentalist fanfic. I really enjoyed writing this, and I hope that everyone liked reading it. It would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this fic of mine. But yeah...not sure what else to say about this, other than the fact that I liked writing it. Which I already said. So...that's kind of redundant. Haha.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading!