Summary: She can't believe that she stares into Red John's eyes and does not flinch at all.


"It's cute how you believed me." Red John's voice is smooth, soft against Lisbon's ears as the rope digs into her flesh. She's tied to the chair in the middle of the room, so close to the exit and yet so far. She almost can't believe where she is – who she is with. She can't believe that she stares into Red John's eyes and does not flinch at all. She can't believe that sitting here, in this dark room, she is in no danger. She can't believe it, yet she must because it is what is and forever shall be.

She is not in danger here.

Not just yet.

Not until Jane gets here. Then she will die, a slow and painful death, because that is what she is good for. Not for protecting people (she swore on her mother's too-soon grave) or putting bad people away (lock her demons up behind the bars of her justice system).

The figure in the back of the room dances across, surprising from his stature, towards the last shred of light crossing the room. Red John's hand flips daintily (never a word she would associate with him) and the cover slides shut over the light, blotting out the last vision she has of the outside world. Her last breathless smell of the ocean scent fading with the last vestiges of light from the outside world that she loves desperately – the golden (curls) sun and the bright blue (eyes that look bottle-green) sky. The (Jane) day that she loves so deeply that it aches inside because this person has ruined his life – and undue vengeance festers in her skin, vengeance she shouldn't want to exact but she does; it is a vicious desire that she hordes and never reveals. She's the righteous one. She's the Jane, vengeance solves nothing. She's the protection.

Now she's the loss. She's the given-up-hope. She's the spare me. She wants to be the go ahead and kill me but she can't because she needs to live. She needs to take care of Tommy and James and Robbie and those big blue eyes they all have. So different than her green eyes (the colour of envy and greed) that she got from her Dad.

"I mean, how could you not tell?" The voice – lacking a body but not an identity – echoes. Red John's entire posture screams control and, oh god, she's spent too much time with Jane. Red John moves like a dance, like a ballerina in the stage, giving their soul to save the world through art. But murder isn't art.

There is a dark chuckle from the corner, "All those little hints I've been giving you. Really, Teresa, you should have seen them. But you didn't, did you? Blinded by your caring nature and desperate desire to save everyone, even those who shouldn't have been saved. You adored me, didn't you?"

It's true. Lisbon adored Red John, twisted in the lies and the posturing that the murderer had exerted over her team. Pulling the wool over their eyes until they walked right into the serial killer's trap, the trap that had been laid for over three years.

"You're too young!" Lisbon croaks, "Not old enough!"

Anyone else would be silent, face death with stony eyes. But Lisbon has always cared too much, wanted the best for the one she had cared for. And, besides, the timeline didn't fit, not unless Red John was –

"I was ten when I first killed a man." The monster's eyes glitter like stars. The confession hovers in the air like the stench of blood. The idea of young hands reaching out to (poison that damn bottle) shoot a (father that abused) man repulsed Lisbon.

"Don't look so high and mighty!" Red John cackles cruelly, "It doesn't fit you, Lisbon. Especially when I know you wanted to kill your precious Daddy."

"But I didn't." She defends, "That's the difference, I didn't."

"THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!" Red John screams, "YOU AND I ARE NOT DIFFERENT!"

The murderer calms down with short breaths, "We all have darkness in our souls, Special Agent Teresa Amalia Lisbon." The name of her mother digs deeper into her chest where her heart would be if it hadn't been torn out, "You've just hidden it better."

There is the sound of footsteps above, where people have arrived, where they are coming to save her. Save her from this nightmare she has ensconced into of her own volition because what else is there to do when she is enabler of a killer. Access to guns, access to records, access to her heart and her soul where she can see so much of herself in Red John until they twist to become the same person with the same demons in the shadows.

But perhaps that is what Red John wants. Wants her to see only the similarities until she is gnarled and broken to the point of unfixable – it is the secret desire of a not-so-secret madman; beneath her ribcage there is a stutter as her heart breaks once more. She has fallen into the trap Red John has set. She thinks of herself as the creator. As the enabler. She blames herself for the death of Jane's family. But, oh, that was long before she could stop it! The cross around her neck feels heavy with the guilt of her life. Living to protect but unable to protect the people that matter.

"Looks like the cavalry has arrived." Red John's voice is soft now. Gentle. Normal.

Lights on, thumping feet, sudden relief fills her. She can hear the guns click into place and the bullet rotate in the clip as it spirals into the chamber.

She can tell Red John that death is imminent but she won't because Red John knows and she doesn't want to speak. She was tricked. She was tricked by her own people. Red John was hers, her person, hers. She wants to scream, wants to plead to pull up the façade once more, because Red John was hers. But oh, apparently not. Not with the lies and the deception and the pain that radiated outwards like bullets.

Jane is not with them, Lisbon knows this, Jane is away in jail for the murder of a person who wasn't Red John. This is why the real Red John takes her when the murderer does. So Jane can miss his revenge. Jane can be broken and unfit to be saved.

(Jane with his damn Damsel in Distress Syndrome – getting into too much trouble until the Knight in Standard Issue CBI Uniform has to save his sorry ass. Jane with his kooky grin and sullen eyes. Jane with his charm and good looks. Jane with his caring nature. Jane with his vengeance so cruelly torn from him. Jane with his…with his Jane-ness that she can't help but adore.)

"Tell Jane," Red John grins, a twisted grin, and this monster doesn't deserve to say the name of the man that Red John ruined, "that I win."

A gun shot rings out and she gets one more glimpse at the young face of Grace Van Pelt's before her blood drenches Lisbon's tearstained face.


So yes, Grace Van Pelt is RED JOHN! Gasp! Anyway, an explanation is in order. Grace chose the name RED JOHN because of her HAIR (which is red) and because John is the name of a usually unidentified person (John Doe). See?

Oh and I made her a psycho killer because I wanted to. :) Super thanks to my friend TeresaAmaliaJane (whom I moulded Teresa's name from in this story...hope you don't mind :P ) for being AWESOME and AUSTRALIAN (like my beloved Simon) and loving SPIRITED. :)

Aimlessly Unknown