Teresa Lisbon, Office Politics, and Red Colleagues-1

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.

Teresa Lisbon sat seething in her desk.

She couldn't remember the last time she felt so frustrated with someone who wasn't her consultant.

Cho, her normally reliable Cho, had pulled a Jane and disobeyed a direct order from her.

As if that wasn't enough, his disobedience undermined her authority in front of assistant district attorney Osvaldo Ardiles who had made a perfectly reasonable and friendly request from her to not let her agent screw up a case he was building against two of Sacramento's biggest crime lords.

Like she always did when dealing with (supposedly) mature adults, Teresa sat down with the two men and had them lay all their cards on the table. Ardiles had asked Cho a simple question and her agent(whose curtness bordered on rudeness on a good day) didn't seem to understand (or care) that her presence should have been a hint that he be on his best behavior.

Instead, it was Ardiles who remained admirably civil, explaining the situation to Cho even though technically speaking he was the one issuing a complaint.

Teresa found herself getting annoyed with her second in command's provoking silence and demanded that he answer Osvaldo's question on whether he was or wasn't interfering with his case.

Cho said he was, then continued for God knows what reason to push the man's buttons. He gave his unsolicited opinion that the ADA's case was dead anyway. Lisbon eventually had to step in and stop things from getting ugly when Osvaldo asked her if he needed to make a former complaint. She said it wasn't necessary, telling Cho in front of the angered man that they shouldn't get involved.

Apparently, Cho didn't keep his end of the bargain and the ADA had left an angry message on her machine to let her know how displeased he was, and that he considered their so far amicable professional relationship tarnished.

Lisbon couldn't believe it. She thought for once she'd have a complaint-free week. Jane had behaved beautifully (well for him anyway). Their "talk" a couple of weeks ago had really helped set his mind at ease regarding how far she'd be willing to help him: as far as was reasonable within common sense. As a result their working relationship (and friendship) was better than ever.

She had been in such a good mood. The she got Ardiles's message.

Teresa had been fully prepared to ream her newly unruly agent. Then Cho explained the humane reason behind his actions: he'd been helping out a kid from losing his father by being unjustly charged for a crime he did not commit.

The orphan in her couldn't help but sympathize. But while it all sounded nice and sweet she doubted it would win over Ardiles. True, he was just one of many prosecutors who worked in the district attorney's office but he was ambitious, well liked, and fair; qualities that made him a favorite with the DA and very influential.

Lisbon sighed as she resignedly stood up and started gathering her things to go home.

She would really miss his help. He was one of the few attorneys that actually didn't mind working Jane's cases. He was that good, that confident. He could downplay Jane's unethical behavior enough so that the jury was always left with the bigger picture: a killer was taken off the streets.

Was she really going to lose his support over something like this; a bit of insubordination from a usually exemplary agent?

Making up her mind, Lisbon locked her office and left CBI. But instead of going home she headed over to the District Attorney's office. It was late, but it was also widely known that this man's dedication normally didn't have him leaving the office until way after working hours.

It was just one of his many good qualities.

Author's note: A muse called Mrs. Tunney is responsible for this one. Two more chapters left.