For Whom the Last Bell Tolls: The Red Mile Episode Tag

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.


It was the night of Dr. Steiner's death. Jane was lying on his back in his bed in the CBI attic, heart beating just as rapidly as it had ever since the good doctor told him he wanted to kill himself.

After the man passed away, Patrick had finished his soothing cup of tea and then called the police. He'd remained just long enough to given his statement before taking himself to his lonely haven.

Jane hadn't bothered to turn the lights on. He needed the dark.

"Angela, are you there?" He whispered into the gloom.

This was the first time Patrick had ever spoken to his wife out loud. Usually he only did it in his mind, because then her reply would be in his head and it wouldn't be obvious that he was in fact just imagining her. It also diminished the possibility of appearing crazy if someone accidentally walked in on him.

But he could care less about that now.

"Angela?"

The silence was deafening. Jane started feeling desperate.

"Angel?"

Another first. Although he'd loved using the nickname when she was alive, he never did when he pretended to talk to her after she died. It was too morbid, especially since Patrick didn't believe in angels.

Tonight however, he truly wished he did and remembered what his brother in law Danny had said when they had visited Angela and Charlotte's graves. Jane had told him it was his first time since the funeral; that he never came because they weren't there. Danny had replied:

"Who knows, maybe they're both looking down on us right now. Angie's saying lighten up you dummies."

Jane didn't believe in the afterlife or angels. But at the moment he saw no harm in trying to reach out to one he desperately needed.

"Angel…," Jane started again, only to choke on the sobs which erupted at the continued stillness.

It's okay baby, I hear you. You can speak to me in your mind and I'll answer you.

Jane was too overcome to immediately reply. Closing his eyes, he brought his hands up to his face to wipe the pain streaming down. Sometimes, his conversations with his wife were so vivid that he dreaded when they stopped. It was like losing her all over again.

Don't think about that now. I know what happened Patrick, so just talk about what you're feeling.

I saw a man die today.

I know. But it wasn't your first time, she gently pointed out.

No, it wasn't. But this wasn't a criminal. This was a good man. A dying man. And I stayed with him while he killed himself.

Yes you did. And now you're scared.

No.

Patrick, she chided.

Yes. He admitted.

So why did you do it? You know you don't handle these things very well.

She wasn't being judgmental, Angela was never judgmental. She just liked asking straightforward questions in a benign tone, so that he'd come to his own conclusions, knowing it was the best way to get him to talk through his thoughts. It was a tactic Jane used all the time. But while he did it to get people to give away things about themselves to better read them, his wife used it out of consideration for his pride.

Why put yourself through that?

I wasn't going to. I was going to leave. But then I realized it would have haunted me more if I hadn't.

Why?

Because, he called me. He called me. This was a chance for me to do something good. Can you understand that? He pleaded desperately.

I understand that you still blame yourself for our deaths. That you're trying to find absolution even if might mean your damnation. And I'm not just talking about what happened today.

Angela was never judgmental, but she had an annoying habit of turning the conversation to where he didn't want it to go.

I'm trying to talk to you about a man who committed suicide while I stayed and waited for him to die. How can you twist that into your disapproval of my revenge?

Fine. You want to talk about Dr. Steiner. I don't fault you for what you did. It was a kind act. What I disapprove of is you continuously punishing yourself for things that are out of your control.

That's not what I was doing. I'm not a masochist.

Aren't you?

No, I'm not. If it makes you feel better, my motives weren't %100 pure for staying with Steiner.

Really?

Yes, really.

Then why did you do it.

Because…

Yes?

Because if someone like me gets to have someone with him when he dies, then Steiner does too. He's a much better person than I am.

You mean Teresa?

Yes. When the day comes, I'd call her, because I'm selfish that way. And she'd come because she's selfless that way.

You're probably right. But I don't think you're actually as confident of that as you sound. You hope it's true. But you can't know for sure.

No, I can't. Jane admitted. She's being more distant these days. She's making a conscious effort to stay away from me. And there's no one else I would call if she won't come.

So that's it. You stayed with him because you hope someone will stay with you.

Not someone. Lisbon.

You emphasize with Stiener because he reminds you of you.

He's all alone. He wouldn't have called me of all people if he had anyone who remotely cared about him in his life.

You cared about him.

Not at first.

It doesn't matter. You know, Patrick, this sounds like a classic case of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". For someone who doesn't believe in the divine it almost sounds like you're appealing to a higher power here.

Yes, it's called Karma. Jane said firmly.

Sure it is. Angela indulged. It's still not like you though.

Jane rubbed his face once more.

It's going to get bad Angela. It's going to get really bad. I don't know if I'll make it out alive. But that's not what I'm worried about.

You're worried about not having anything to live for anymore.

I'd rather die first. I can't handle that again. I just can't.

And you want me to pray for you?

Well, you'll just have to. It's not like I can ask for divine intervention when I don't believe in the entity that'll be doing the… interfering.

Angela gave a decidedly mocking snort.

That's not very ladylike, Jane said with a frown.

Patrick, say what you will, but what you did today was in fact a prayer for mercy. Now I think Teresa is still in her office. So instead of sitting here like a coward, go tell her what happened. She might even surprise you and understand your motives. That'll make you feel better. We both know she's your own personal saint and angel wrapped up in an adorable pint sized package. Maybe one day you'll finally come to your sense, put her in your pocket and run off into the sunset together.

Jane smiled at the image.

I love you Angela.

I love you too Patrick. And don't worry. I will pray for you as long as you keep living.

So it's conditional? You're much bossier than when you were alive.

Well knowing you my prayers won't be enough. You have to keep your nose pretty clean if you want to end up where I am.

Jane sat up in his bed, chuckling softly at his mind's twisted sense of humor. Angela was too devout to ever speak so offhandedly about the afterlife. She was not unlike Lisbon that way. The Serious Crime's Head always shushed him whenever he started speaking cavalierly about anything spiritual.

In fact, he might just do that now, just to see her reaction.

Feeling somewhat cleansed, Jane headed downstairs for Lisbon's office.


Authors note: I loved the last episode; until they ruined it with the ending. It was a lovely scene but I don't understand why the writers are in such a rush this season; why not save it for later? And why do they seem to have this endless need to torture Jane? Hasn't the guy been through enough? This was written off the top of my head and was more than anything was just an excuse to vent as I had to restrain myself a bit to be fair when I wrote the episode review (if you're reading LM, thanks again for making that possible). But please let me know what you think anyway. Do you agree with Jane's motivations here: search for absolution, prayer for the future, etc.? By the way, this tag was heavily inspired by Little Mender's so I apologize in advance for any similarities.