Disclaimer: I don't own The Mentalist or anything related to it.

Summary: Lisbon thought that Jane was finished. That he'd done what he came to the CBI to do and now he had given up on life. To be fair, Jane thought the same thing. But when an old detective dies, leaving behind an unofficial case - a murder that was originally ruled to be a suicide - Jane realises that he's not quite done with the CBI just yet... If only Lisbon will have him...

A.N. Wow! What a season finale! I'm unbelievably glad it's been renewed for another season though there's no way I can wait until September, so here I am, chipping in my two cents. This will eventually be a multi-chapter fic that of course will be made redundant when the new season starts but I hope it will help tide some of you over until then. Enjoy!

Never-Ending Battle


"I'll call you back."

Those were the last words he had said before he hung up on her and as she dropped the hand clutching the phone from her ear, Lisbon knew that something bad was about to happen. He was using that voice, after all. It was intense, serious. It was the one he only used when he spoke of something important. And what could be more important to Patrick Jane than Red John?

She felt nauseous and swallowed down the acidic bile that was rising in her throat with a whimper. She had spoken to Red John. She had made a telephone call to the man who had killed Jane's wife and daughter, the man who had orchestrated the deaths of Sam Bosco and his team... and the man that Craig O'Laughlin worked for. It almost seemed absurd. And she knew, she just knew, that he was in the vicinity of Patrick Jane. She didn't know how and she didn't know why. All she did know was that one of them was going to die.

Lisbon closed her eyes in an effort to keep the panic at bay. She took a breath, filling her lungs, then another. Gripping the fireplace where she sat with her right arm she tried to push herself to her feet. A mistake, as it happens. The nausea returned with a wave of dizziness and she collapsed back down, banging her head on the stone behind her. Her eyes filled with tears of utter frustration that she held back. Jane was in danger, from himself or a serial killer, she wasn't sure. But he was in trouble and she was too damn weak to even stand.

"Boss!" Grace rushed to her side, hands fluttering, trying to figure out what to do. She went to put pressure on Lisbon's wound but Lisbon brushed her hand aside. She knew she should let her but the bullet wasn't a through-and-through. It had certainly broken her collarbone but while she was losing blood, it could have been a lot worse. It could have hit a couple of inches down.

"The ambulance will be here in about ten minutes," Van Pelt informed her. "So will the local law enforcement. Cho and Rigsby are on their way..." she hesitated, and Lisbon felt a hand on her back. "Lisbon, you need to let me put some pressure on that," she gestured at the ever-growing spot of red on her shirt. "You're losing too much blood."

Lisbon wanted to tell her that she'd had worse, that'd she'd be fine, but she knew Van Pelt was right. So instead she gritted her teeth, closed her eyes and gave the younger agent a sharp nod. The hand at her back pushed harder to support her... and then the wave of pain when Grace pushed her other hand on the wound hit her.

The pain, the worry for Jane and the worry for Grace combined together and forced her to let out a strangled sob. She felt herself collapsing back against the stone fireplace but the pain didn't subside. After a few moments she was able to breathe through it and open her eyes again. On the balcony above her she saw Madeleine looking down, concerned. Lisbon forced a smile at her and watched her retreat back into the bedroom to her children. Suddenly she was glad that she hadn't told Grace that she'd had worse. Whilst the statement was most certainly true, it always hurt to get shot.

She turned towards the other agent and watched her for a moment. To the casual observer it would have looked like she was fully concentrating on keeping pressure on Lisbon's collarbone but every few seconds she would send a furtive glance towards the dead body beside them.

"Grace," she caught the other woman's attention, "I am so sorry that it turned out to be O'Laughlin."

Van Pelt let out a laugh that sounded more like a cry, "I should be apologising to you. I brought him here. He could have killed Hightower if you hadn't acted when you did. He nearly killed you! And it's my fault..." This time she did cry and her arms shook as they tried to stop Lisbon's blood from flowing out of her. Lisbon bit down on her lip, determined not to show that it was hurting her all the more. Awkwardly she crossed her right hand over her body so that it rested on Grace's knee.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "It wasn't fair on you." She tried to wait until Grace had control of her tears again, but her vision was growing hazy as the pain and blood loss began to overcome her. She asked the next question as Grace's sobs began to quiet, "Will you be okay? Eventually?" Because there was no point asking if she was okay now. Not when it was so obvious that she wasn't. And tomorrow would be worse, Lisbon had no doubt. Grace may be sitting and staring at the corpse of her fiancée but the truth and the consequences of the day's events hadn't quite hit her yet.

Grace offered her a watery smile, "I don't know. I hope so." Lisbon hoped so too.

They sat in silence.

Lisbon could hear the sirens when it happened. Van Pelt's phone rang insistently and she removed the supporting hand at Lisbon's back to answer it and press it between her shoulder and her ear. Lisbon watched and listened, trying to figure out the caller's news. She was sure that Van Pelt could feel her heart racing and she suddenly found access to a final spurt of adrenaline that cleared her vision.

When Grace finally put away the phone her face was shocked, saddened and grim.

"What? Is it Jane?" For a moment she struggled to breathe in her panic.

"He's..." Grace looked at a loss at what to say. "He's been arrested." Lisbon swallowed thickly and Grace carried on. "Cho said he's killed someone and he keeps saying it was Red John..."

Everything else was a blur. Later, she would vaguely remember the paramedics lifting her onto a stretcher, a flash of red hair as Van Pelt talked to the local police and Madeleine giving her hand a quick squeeze as she was loaded into the back of the ambulance.

The doors were slammed shut, breaking off her connection with the outside world. It was only then that she closed her eyes and broke off her own connection with consciousness.

A.N. I promise I will try and write more soon. Also, the real chapters will be longer. Some Jane next time too! Please let me know what you think, even if you just want to leave a comment on the season finale.