Teresa held her daughter to her, rocking her gently. She hummed a lullaby soothing Alyssa back to sleep. Her last case had left her exhausted so nightmares were the last thing she wished to deal with her temperamental three year old. Like father like daughter she mused, sighing she placed her little girl back down on her bed. She tucked Alyssa up tight in her fairy princess duvet running her hand over her soft curls. Returning to her room, the hall light illuminated the sleeping man in her bed. Lanky and lean, his dark curls contrasted on her white pillow. He turned and blinked sleepily at her.
'All ok'? He croaked
'Fine Ben, just a nightmare'
She curled into his side, her hand snaking around his waist. He pulled her too him, his head resting in the crook of her neck. Tonight wasn't fine though, tonight marked a shift in her regulated world. It was one year since she let Ben into her home life, two years since another left it completely and the first time her daughter had asked for daddy. She thought Ben was her father, it would make his day, it made her slightly sick. How had she gotten here from there, over three years ago, she didn't know. He was a good man, a solid man, a man who wanted her, only her and who held her when she was sad. He looked after her and her daughter and she could always call on in a crisis and now unlike every man in her life before he wanted to marry her. Sure he had yet to ask but you don't spend years with Patrick Jane and not learn how to read behaviours. So despite her over tiredness, she knew her thoughts would run. A decision needed to be made and reality faced, her heart needed to catch up with her head and Patrick Jane had to move over for Ben Wright. Three years and six months since she made a fatale mistake, Three years and six months since she had let him in. Her daughter and she was under no illusion, Alyssa Jane despite the name was hers and hers alone. Lisbon often thought that her little girl was a gift, for all her attempts to save Jane, almost like someone up there noted her efforts even if he didn't. While she lost her best friend she gained a daughter, she got the one thing her life was missing even if she hadn't realised she wanted it.
Ben slipped nearer to her, snuggling in, a small smile spreading. It was a stark contrast to what she and Jane had. The mechanical sex between them had left her cold and shut out. It had started out simply enough with saint Teresa trying anything to save him. He was her best friend and any comfort she could give him any lifeline, any feeling, well she would do anything for him and do anything to save him. He had been pulling away from the team, sometimes he would forget and bond with the team again but after Kristina he became more and more lost. So when he sought comfort one night after a tough case she gave it to him in the only way she knew he could find it. He had her heart, her body paled in comparison. He cried after, there was no passion no feelings and certainly no kissing but he kept coming back over and over for this cold and empty union. She found herself mentally replaying sex with other partners to get through but if it helped him eve just a little then she had to continue. He was unhinging and she so she held him to her with all her might, anything to keep him from killing Red John. Then things had changed, the stick had come up positive and her life was no longer her own while his remained the same, She had informed him promptly and he simply nodded emotionless-ley and said he'd be there for them and help her out financially. All the while his eyes were scanning her, reading her face and she knew he was thinking perhaps she was doing it on purpose. That was the last time she had let him in her bed. She waited for him for two and a half hours for the first ultra sound, receiving sympathetic looks from other expectant parents as they pushed back her appointment time repeatedly. She only waited one and a half hours the next time and by the third she didn't bother to tell him. He watched her often though, more once she started to show. He brought her healthy food, baby gifts and books but never discussed what was happening, it was like he felt obliged to do these things rather than wanted to. She saw him a lot less when she became desk-bound and despite her failing friendship with Jane her other relationships in the department improved dramatically. The scary boss lady had become the cheerful, softer and more approachable senior agent. Van Pelt had moved from rookie to best friend to lamaze partner, Cho her chauffeur and Rigsby her food supplier all the while her consultant obsessed over Red John and pulled away from her and the team. Preparing for a new life left her very little time to save his. She tried, she would always try but he successfully avoided her and when they did deal with each other she could still see the resentment at the back of his eyes. She loved her bump and so help her if he ever voiced that feeling he held, she would hurt him.
The day Van Pelt knocked tentatively, coming in to stand in front of her boss, blurting out between sobs that she couldn't live without Wayne and he was transferring so they could be together. She stood up hugged the younger woman and told her they were making the right decision. She knew they would be good together and stated they would be happy and that she was happy for them. Ignoring the jealousy that rose over the fact Van Pelt had found a man who would give up everything for her, his career his home and no doubt his life. The petty jealousy passed quickly though, looking into the younger agents eyes quashed it, Grace had become a good friend and needed her reassurance, her desperate look well it brought out Teresa's newly strengthened maternal side. She trusted Cho, he was a great agent and deserved great things so when he receive the promotion she had nominated him for she wasn't surprised. With both trepidation and joy she sent her right hand man off to lead his own team. She reflected sadly that she had managed to lose both her best friends through her well intentioned actions. A long mostly one-sided talk with Hightower followed by a rather forceful suggestion saw, her moved to organised crimes. Less workload, shorter hours, more office time and of course almost no stress would suit the later stages of pregnancy. Grace still mad at Jane's treatment of Lisbon and disliking her new team, subtly followed Teresa, who was more than happy to have her friend and her computer skills within easy reach. With the old team completely disbanded, Jane ran rings around the new team and all his misbehaviours led to a lot of paperwork with no one to do it. As chaos loomed, Mr tall, dark and handsome entered and Teresa met Ben Wright, the new head of serious crimes. She was surprised by the shot of desire that swept through her on meeting him but her pregnancy hormones had been driving her crazy so like most uncomfortable experiences she ignored it.
A bit lost at how to handle Jane and all the paperwork that ensued he asked for her help and they began working closely together for the last three months of her pregnancy. While most sane women would have taken their leave, Teresa was still cleaning up the mess Patrick was causing as if he hadn't done enough to make her life difficult. She was aware that Ben and she had clicked but while still small and definitely glowing it was still apparent she was pregnant. She was grateful he didn't try to pry into her personal life and the secrets she hid so well, he never made her blush or give surprises just to see her smile but she was also never tense, angry or plagued by homicidal feelings. She almost never saw Jane but according to Ben neither did his team much any more. He passed on the information in passing never acknowledging the baby was his, though she knew he knew. He was hiding things, going off alone and harassing people for no reason, so much so that even Hightower gave up on her golden boy. So Teresa found herself regularly late at night eating takeaway with Ben in his office sharing jokes, stories and workloads. When Alyssa would act up, kicking making her mother uncomfortable, Ben would jokingly sit down to talk to her wayward daughter placing a hand on her stomach verbally soothing and admonishing her for disturbing her tired mother. Teresa recalled how one night she and Ben had been alone and he was talking to Alyssa about her kicking and how Teresa had had a long day and needed to let her rest so she could go home and get her beauty sleep. He added that she didn't really need it while looking Teresa in the eye. They both jumped when a voice broke into their private moment.
'He is right Teresa pregnancy agrees with you, you are positively glowing' he coolly stated, not even looking at her choosing instead to focus on Ben.
'The neighbour killed Mr Silverman over his noisy dogs, since you thought it was so important to solve the crime earlier' He regarded the takeaway boxes and Ben's proximity to Lisbon.
'And you are working so hard yourself I thought id help you out, lighten your load'
'I'm your boss Mr Jane, I don't have to justify anything to you'. Ben moved slightly in-front of Teresa making Jane's eyes narrowed. 'Now Jane thank you for the tip, ill send Murphy
and Cash to pick him up in the morning but its best if you leave now' Ben practically growled the last words at Jane. Teresa recognised the dark look in Jane's eyes and thought it was best to remain silent. Figures when it came to Jane he may not want her but he still didn't want anyone else playing with his toys. A few weeks later when her contractions started she called Van Pelt and they went through her labour together. Surprisingly Jane appeared at the hospital and while she refused him entrance to the birthing room she gave him full access to their daughter. For a short while he used it while Lisbon was at home, if work was slow he would stop by. He started to talk to her and while she didn't fully let him in all the way to her heart again over the next few months they started to move towards some semblance of civility and even trust. Then Red John reared his ugly head again and Jane went and disappeared missing milestones in Alyssa's life. Ben and her team visited regularly so yet again she picked herself up dusted herself off and surrounded herself with those that loved her. She was no longer mad for herself but he had hurt her little girl and that she couldn't let go. Back at work life moved along smoothly, though Jane showed increasingly erratic behaviour until one day he just didn't show up and failed to show up everyday after that. Teresa worried about the worst, tried to contact him, stressed until he was spotted over the state line. He had missed his daughters first birthday by choice. Ben had played father that day with his bi weekly dinner visits resulting in Alyssa bonding with him instead. The fell into a comfortable routine of lunches dinners and eventually sex. They weren't team members so no rules broken, no feathers ruffled it was all very neat and simple.
So here she was faced with her predicament yes or no? Teresa realised it was the whole simplicity that had her doubting Ben, years of unpredictability had her craving spontaneity and the unexpected. Well all that unknown had left her alone and more importantly her daughter alone and she owed her daughter better. She should have a good stable man in her life and it was not liked she didn't love Ben, she did. So Teresa made her decision, shaking Ben awake she kissed him hard and pulled him to her. She rarely initiated contact so he was pleasantly surprised and smiled against her mouth. During the throws of passion she let slip 'I love you', Ben stilled for a split second she knew that was the last thing he was waiting for and the more she thought about it it was what she was waiting to say. Now she had she knew she meant and felt it she had spent too long in the past and he was her future He would ask soon now he had her heart and she would accept. Ben was a good man and she loved him just differently to how she love Jane.
Jane sat with a young woman, she was covered in blood, clinging helplessly to him sobbing sporadically. He soothed her into a light trance. This could not have better, Red John regarded him with barely concealed disgust. Jane smirked in return.
'So you think you won then?' Red John or as Jane now knew Michael Richards questioned. Jane double checked the near unconscious girl was deep enough in the trance so as not to hear.
'Oh yeh , I defiantly won this one, Missy here will testify I came to the rescue, pulled my gun, you knocked it out of my hand, rushed me, I had no choice but to stab you'. He looked at the dozing girl.
'Of course its a coincidence that I stabbed you in the liver and get to watch you bleed out slowly and painfully' he continued.
'Oh yes you won this round alright' Red John conceded.
'I'm not going to jail again so yeh that's an all round win' Jane checked his phone and made a quick phone call requesting an ambulance.
He was lucky the girl wasn't hurt he didn't want to risk her but he couldn't let the paramedics get to Red John in time to save him . He used the exact words he let the girl hear earlier when he had pretended to call, she would have no concept of time and focus on his saving her. He really couldn't have planned it better.
Red John regarded him thoughtfully.
'Ah so you will just move on with your life right... except without revenge you ll have nothing to live for' Jane adjusted the girl on his lap, continuously rubbing circles, keeping her relaxed and under.
'Your concern is touching, ill be fine'
Red John coughed violently and Jane was satisfied to see blood trail down his chin, not long now and the paramedics should be another 20 minutes. The hacking turned into a laugh weak but still resoundingly cruel.
'I was going to kill her you know' Jane glanced down at the blonde girl in his arms before replying
'I had kinda figured that out'
'Not her' he continued 'Teresa'. Red John smirked as Jane's hand flinched involuntarily.
' I was going to cut her and your little girl, just waiting for the right time'
'and what you forgot, got lazy got distracted' Jane snapped.
'Not exactly, I realised that I've already been there done that and it didn't fully break you so I should try something else.'
'So you decided to do nothing , oh yeh great plan'
'Actually I did a lot and even after death ill still continue my torture'
'I've some news for you I have no idea what torture you inflicted so I guess your mighty plan failed.
Red John looked at him intently and Jane could see how much his eyes had dimmed , his life slipping away.
'Every time she needed you, I made sure you were looking for me. I was your number one priority and a beautiful strong woman like Teresa well she wouldn't wait forever. Getting her pregnant switched her priorities. She always has to save the weak, protect them and now that child dictates her and her broken consultant falls by the wayside. I'm only sorry I didn't get to see your face as you realise that another man lives your life, steals your second chance at happiness.' The speech took almost all of what red John had left.
Jane shifted the girl and moved towards Red John and looked him dead in the eye 'if my not being there saved their lives then it was worth it.'
Red John spluttered, trying to cough up enough blood to speak
'You say that now but later when your dying alone, your Serious Crime family gone, the second love of your life with another man, your daughter calling him daddy, that bitterness, that jealousy will consume you.'
Jane punched him until he lost conciousness. Returning to Missy, He watched as Red Johns breathing shallowed and eventually stopped. While he had not contacted anyone in months choosing instead to focus on finding his nemesis, he had no doubt as to whom he had been referring to. Ben Wright, tall, dark good looking, stable, just Teresa's type.
He was a good man no doubt and he had seen the attraction between them. It had crushed him a little to see another man complimenting her, being around her all the time. She had ensnared Ben without trying, so typical of her. Since becoming pregnant she was stunning, most of her sharp edges had softened and she glowed. The woman always got attention but never noticed instead her natural wiles had attracted Ben as it had him, slowly, quietly and deeply. Seeing them that night had spurred him into action for a while, he tried to do more, be there, he wanted some part of her life, he was selfish like that always, wanting some part of her any part would do. At first her trust, then her friendship, her comfort, sex and finally her love, he knew she hadn't fallen completely in love but she was starting too. Had started too. It had been a tough been a tough case that brought him to her bed, the guilt and self loathing had nearly killed him. He knew she was doing it as a friend, for a friend to save him, but he couldn't stop coming back. It hadn't been the passion and love he wished to convey instead it was desperate and needy and probably destroyed them, but he needed her and wouldn't let her go. Then she had become pregnant and seen his doubt and that was that. The sound of the paramedics broke his reverie. He slipped his mask on and prepared for his audience.
2 weeks later found him in front of her home. There was a party going on he could hear the chatter as he approached the house. He circled around back remaining concealed, to where 30 people were gathered, dotted around the grassy area. He took everything in quickly, from the several congratulations banners, to the simple ring on her finger as she picked up her daughter to her smile, her relaxed features, how easily she laughed with those around her. He watched from the shadows as Ben approached her. Alyssa stretched out to him, calling him daddy. His heart constricted, Red John was right he couldn't watch this. Yet again his big plans had failed he had pushed her away and lost everything because of his pride, he was doomed to keep repeating his same mistakes he hadn't learned the first time he lost his family and would probably not learn this time either.