DISCLAIMER: The characters all belong to Bruno Heller. I've just borrowed them for inspiration.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Apologies for any glaring medical errors, I know many things but an expert I am not!

THANKS TO: The fantastic cast for making it so easy to write for them, especially Mr Baker (yummy!) and, of course, Mr Heller himself – genius!

APOLOGIES TO: Simon Baker, for abusing the knowledge that he has a scar on his torso!


De Vere's Irish Pub, Sacramento, CA

The team leave the pub. It is about 9 pm and dark outside. There is a slight chill in the air. Rigsby and Cho wander to their cars parked a few feet away. Van Pelt is getting a lift with Lisbon who is standing in front of the SUV with her keys in her hand. Both women are looking at Jane.

"It was a good day today, Lisbon," says Jane.

"Yeah, it was, wasn't it," replies Lisbon.

With his hands placed loosely in his gray pants pockets and his jacket draped over his left wrist, he continues, "No really. You were awesome in that courtroom. Very impressive." He rocks slightly up onto his toes as he speaks.

"Really?" Lisbon bridles a little at the compliment.

"Really. I particularly liked the way you kept winking at the judge. Coming on to him was a genius idea. He has a real thing for you. Did you get his number?" Jane raises an eyebrow suggestively and there is a hint of a mischief in his eyes.

"Okay, stop right there. I did not 'come on' to the judge. And I was not 'winking'. I had something in my eye…"

Jane rocks on the balls of his feet. "Ohhhh… Going with that old chestnut, are we? Okay. Whatever you say." He winks at Van Pelt.

"Old chestnut? What - ? Go on, get out of here! I'll see you tomorrow… if I let you live that long." Lisbon pushes him playfully and points down the street to where his Citroen is parked.

Jane raises his hands in mock surrender. "Okay. I'm going." He turns to Van Pelt who is trying to hide her amusement at his comments. "Night Grace."

"Night, Jane. See you tomorrow," she replies.

Jane looks two cars along, behind Lisbon's. "Night, guys." He waves briefly in Rigsby and Cho's direction. They nod and return a "Yeah."

Jane grins at Lisbon and she smirks back at him. With a quick flick of her hand she points towards his car, almost shooing him away. He turns and walks away. Lisbon unlocks the SUV and Van Pelt starts to get in. She hesitates at the open door.

"You know, now that Jane mentions it, I think that judge may have – ".

"You want to walk home?" warns Lisbon, tongue-in-cheek.

Van Pelt shuts up and smiles, pinching her lips together.

Two cars down, in front of Lisbon's SUV, Jane is about to unlock his car. A darkly dressed figure approaches him.

"Patrick Jane?"

Still in a jovial mood, Jane turns to meet his greeter. "Yep. That's what they call me..." Under his breath and rolling his eyes to the side, he adds, "..among other things." Turning, he sees the hooded figure is outstretching a hand to shake. Jane hesitantly does the same.

As soon as their hands connect, the figure quickly slams his left hand into the right side of Jane's abdomen. "This is for Red John," he hisses into the consultant's ear.

Jane emits a loud grunt at the impact and slumps. The figure releases his hand and Jane falls to the floor clutching his stomach. The figure runs off. Jane's shout is strangulated and urgent, "Lisbon!"

Just as they are about to get into the SUV the sound of Jane's voice, and the sight of a figure running away, attracts Lisbon and Van Pelt's attention. Lisbon moves in a flash as she sees Jane slump to the ground. Glancing backwards, she calls out loudly to her male colleagues who are about to get into their vehicles. "Rigsby! Cho!"

She runs towards Jane as Rigsby and Cho, drawing their weapons, overtake her and take off in pursuit of his attacker. Grace stays with Lisbon and Jane.

Lisbon kneels at the side of Jane's head. She looks down to where he is clutching his stomach. There is a large amount of blood seeping through his fingers.

"Oh God! Oh God! Okay…" She tries to compose herself quickly as her hands hover wildly over Jane's torso. She then positions herself sitting on the floor, cradling Jane's head and shoulders in her lap. "Jane? It's okay. I'm here. You're gonna be fine. Grace? Call the paramedics. Now!" She places her right hand on top of both of Jane's and pushes down.

Jane looks up at her and opens his mouth to speak but all that comes out is a breathless moan.

Grace is yelling into her cell phone. "This is Agent Van Pelt. I need paramedics to 1521 L Street, outside De Vere's Irish pub. I've got an Agent down and in need of urgent medical assistance." She hangs up and looks at the scene with horror. "They're on their way. What can I do?"

Jane is still moaning and still losing blood. Lisbon looks at Grace. There is fear on both their faces.

"We need to slow down this bleeding. Find something to use as a – " Before Lisbon has finished speaking, Grace is removing her jacket and blouse. She is wearing a t-shirt beneath. She bunches up the blouse and hands it to Lisbon. Lisbon then attempts to position it under both her and Jane's hands on top of the open wound. Jane's moan gets louder. His breathing becomes rattled.

"Sorry, Jane. I gotta do it." She cradles his head in the crook of her left arm and softly strokes his cheek with her hand, gently rocking him. "You stay with me, you hear? You're gonna be fine. Help is on its way." She looks up at Grace. "Where the hell are those paramedics?" She looks back down at Jane. His eyes are beginning to roll and close and his face is pale.

"He's going into shock." The panic is evident in Lisbon's voice.

"We need to raise his legs," says Van Pelt. She looks around wildly for something to use. She grabs a cardboard box that is next to an over-flowing dumpster. "Here, this should work." She grabs Jane's ankles by his trouser legs and places his feet up onto the box. The movement causes Jane to yelp slightly, in turn causing him to cough and splutter. Droplets of aspirated blood spatter the front of Lisbon's shirt.

More panic appears in Lisbon's eyes and they begin to glisten as her tear ducts attempt to fill. "Stay with me, Jane!" she orders, blinking quickly. But Jane is finding it hard to keep his eyes open and focused. His breathing sounds worse.

Sirens suddenly fill the air.

"Oh thank God!" mutters Grace.

At that point Rigsby comes running back. He grimaces at the sight of all the blood. He is breathing hard from running and places his hands on his hips to try and regain his breath.

"How's… he… doing?"

Lisbon glances up at him with the look of a frightened child. Van Pelt's lip begins to tremble slightly. She composes herself quickly. "Where's Cho? Did you get the guy?" She asks.

"Yeah, we got him… Chased him five blocks… Guy was fast… Cho's bringing him back now. I came back to see if there was anything you needed me to do here."

An ambulance pulls up and the paramedics grab their kits and rush over. They begin to work on Jane. One places a cannula in Jane's hand and starts an IV. The other listens to Jane's chest and places an oxygen mask on his face.

"I'm not getting any breath sounds on the right. Possible tension haemo. We need to get him to the ER. He needs a chest tube."

The other paramedic heads to the ambulance to retrieve the gurney helped by Rigsby. Then Rigsby, Van Pelt and the two paramedics lift Jane carefully and place him on to the gurney. They push him back to the ambulance and then place him into the back of the vehicle where the two paramedics jump in to continue working on him. Rigsby can only stand and watch, helplessly.

Grace looks over and notices Lisbon hasn't moved. Instead she is in an almost trance-like state, eyes wide, staring at the blood on her right hand. Grace wanders back over to her.

"Boss? You okay?" asks Van Pelt.

Lisbon doesn't hear her. All she can hear in her head is a replay of the words she'd said to Jane a few moments before; '…if I let you live that long…'

Grace repeats her question.

"Huh?" Lisbon looks up at her, then snaps back to reality. "Yeah, I'm fine. Where are they taking him?"

"Sutter General. It's the closest," replies Van Pelt.

"Okay. I'll go with him. You and Rigsby - "

At that point, Cho walks up holding onto the figure, who is physically twitching despite his arms being cuffed behind his back. Keeping a tight grip with one hand and holding a bloody knife in the other, Cho shoves his prisoner ahead of him. Lisbon walks over.

"You son-of-a-bitch!" she shouts and then promptly sucker punches the guy, who immediately doubles-over. "Not so tough now, are ya?" she growls. "If he dies, so help me God I'll -"

One of the paramedics shouts over. "Agent Lisbon! We're leaving, now!" Lisbon looks over and starts jogging towards the ambulance. Over her shoulder she shouts, "Take him back to CBI and start processing him. I'll call you when I know something. Grace, follow me to the hospital." She then jumps into the back of the ambulance and it speeds away, sirens blaring.

Cho roughly shoves the suspect towards his car, more or less flinging him into the back, and he and Rigsby head back to CBI. Grace jumps into Lisbon's SUV and sets off for the hospital.


Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

The automatic doors whoosh open and the area is bathed in red and blue pulsating light from the ambulance bay. Jane's gurney, with a blood-stained Lisbon close behind, is pushed rapidly into the hospital where he is greeted by the ER doctors. He is unconscious and intubated. One of the paramedics is manually pumping air into him via an ambu-bag. Jane's vest and untucked shirt are open and his abdominal area is covered with several blood-soaked dressings.

"Puncture wounds to the upper right quadrant. Large amount of blood loss at the scene. Pressure extremely low. No breath sounds on the right. Possible haemo-thorax." The quick-fire report from the paramedic is brief, but clearly understood.

One of the doctors listens to Jane's chest as they move towards the Trauma Room. Another peeks at the wounds beneath the dressing. "Okay, thanks. We got it." They slam through the doors into the Trauma Room and Lisbon is stopped by one of the nurses.

"I'm sorry Miss but you have to wait outside." She places a hand in front of Lisbon's shoulder.

"But – " objects Lisbon.

"Sorry." The nurse's word is final and Lisbon can only watch as the doors swing shut. She looks through the small window to see other nurses starting to cut up the legs of Jane's expensive grey suit and the doctors buzzing around him shouting, their mouths moving, no doubt in a cacophony of orders. As she stares helplessly through the glass, a gentle hand is placed on the back of her shoulder. It is another nurse.

"You can wait just through here," says the soothing voice. Lisbon finds herself being guided to a group of chairs in the waiting area. "Can I get you something? Or call someone for you?" asks the nurse. Numbly, Lisbon shakes her head. She takes a seat as the nurse moves on to stop a youth from kicking the candy bar vending machine on the other side of the waiting area.

A few moments later, Grace rushes into the ER and heads towards the reception desk. On route she spots Lisbon and changes direction.

"Anything?" she asks.

"They're working on him now," answers Lisbon. She looks as if she's had the stuffing knocked out of her. Grace exhales heavily and sits down in the seat next to her boss. She searches for the right words to break the nervous silence.

"He'll be fine. He's stubborn. He won't give up," is all she can come up with.

Lisbon's reply is unconvincing, "Yeah." She looks down once more at her blood-covered hand and exhales deeply.


CBI HQ, Sacramento, CA

Jason Stanton sits in a holding cell at the CBI. His foot is tapping furiously, in fact his whole leg is bouncing up and down, up and down beneath the table. The fingers of his right hand are twitching rapidly as if he is waving childishly at the table on which his wrist rests. His head jerks as his gaze bounces around the room. Cho and Rigsby observe him through one-way glass.

"Guy must be on something," declares Rigsby. "Either that or he's seriously wired up wrong."

"Maybe both," states Cho. "Why do you think he went after Jane?"

"Don't know. Could be any number of reasons. Jane's pissed off a lot of people."

"Yeah," agrees Cho, remembering the entire filing cabinet of complaints against his colleague.

They continue to observe their detainee. He now seems to be trying to catch invisible flies in front of him and his lips are moving continuously. Suddenly he stops and his eyes roll upwards. He falls backwards from the bench. Cho and Rigsby move instantly.

They burst into the cell. Cho kneels beside Stanton who is jerking uncontrollably on the floor.

"He's having some sort of seizure, " says Cho.

Rigsby already has his cell phone to his ear. "Yeah. This is Agent Wayne Rigsby at the CBI. We've got a prisoner having a seizure. We need paramedics right away." He hangs up and looks back at Cho, who is trying to keep Stanton's head from hitting the floor. "Okay. They're on their way. What do we do now?"

"We wait," replies Cho, calmly.


Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Lisbon looks up as Van Pelt holds out another paper cup full of coffee. She reaches out to accept it when Madeleine Hightower walks swiftly towards them.

"How's he doing?" Hightower asks with a degree of urgency in her voice.

"What are you doing here? How did you find out - ?" retorts Lisbon, not expecting to see their former boss.

Hightower looks from Grace to Lisbon. "I was in a late meeting with my lawyer at CBI when the report came in. Figured you could use some company." She looks expectantly at Grace. "Any news?"

Grace inhales and shakes her head slightly. "He's in surgery. They're trying to stop the bleeding and re-inflate his lung. We just have to wait… At least that's what they keep telling us." She looks towards the reception desk and then at the cup in her hand.

Hightower looks at Lisbon and takes in her blood-stained clothes. "And what about you? How you holding up?"

Lisbon looks up. "Me? … I'm fine." She tries to avoid eye contact as she speaks.

Hightower presses further. "I ask because… well… first Bosco and now Jane…It can't be easy fo -"

Lisbon raises a hand. "Let's just stop there, shall we? I'm fine. It's Jane we should be worrying about right now, not me."

Hightower glances at Grace and holds up a hand. "Okay. Message received. I was just concerned, as a friend, that's all."

Lisbon exhales and closes her eyes briefly. She forces a tight smile and looks apologetically at Hightower. "I know, I'm sorry… And thank you."

They all look up at the sound of footsteps.

"Agent Lisbon?" The voice belongs to one of the ER doctors who treated Jane before they moved him up to the OR.

Lisbon rises out of her seat quickly. "Is he okay? I mean, is he - ?"

The doctor holds up his hand. "He's still in surgery. That's all I can tell you. One of the surgeons' assistants is waiting for you upstairs in the OR suite on the fifth floor. He'll be able to answer your questions." He points towards the elevator before moving over to the reception desk to collect some more charts.

Lisbon, Hightower and Van Pelt make their way quickly to the elevator. Lisbon pushes the button, and then pushes it again, and again. Hightower places a hand on the agitated brunette's arm. She looks deep into her face. "He's gonna be fine, you know that. He's too damn stubborn to die on us. Especially with Red John still on the loose."

Lisbon manages another weak tight-lipped smile. "I know," she says, almost in a whisper. The doors eventually ping and they press for the fifth floor.


The automatic doors whoosh open and the area is bathed in red and blue pulsating light from the ambulance bay. This time the paramedics are followed by Cho and Rigsby. Stanton is still seizing and the nurses struggle to keep him on the gurney. They rush towards the Trauma Room and Cho and Rigsby are directed to the reception desk to fill out admission forms. Cho insists on staying outside the Trauma Room doors. Stanton is a prisoner after all. The doctor in charge allows it as long as Cho doesn't get in anyone's way. The senior agent positions himself across the hallway from the doors, folds his arms and watches through the small window as the doctors get to work.

Rigsby makes his way to Reception and asks the girl on the desk if she can find out about another patient's condition for him.

"Name?" she asks, monotonously, obviously bored with the familiar query.

"Patrick Jane. He was brought in about three hours ago with stab wounds," explains Rigsby.

The receptionist taps her computer. "Jane, Patrick. Yes, he's up in the OR suite. I'm afraid that's all I can tell you. If you want more information, you'll need to check with the OR Reception area. They're on the fifth floor. Elevator is over there." She barely pauses for breath and doesn't look up as she points. "Next!" she shouts.

"Okay…er…thanks," responds Rigsby. He wanders away with several forms and heads back to Cho, whom he finds leaning against the wall opposite the Trauma Room, arms still crossed.

"Jane's in surgery," says Rigsby.

Cho nods. "Okay."

Rigsby nods towards the Trauma Room and looks through the window. "Any news on Stanton?"

"Nope," replies Cho.

"Okay." There is a brief pause. Rigsby looks around for several seconds. Then he looks back at Cho. "You want a coffee?"

"Sure," responds Cho.

"Okay. I'll go get us a coffee then. Here…" He hands Cho the forms and wanders off in search of a drinks machine.


There is a ping and the elevator doors open. Rigsby steps out and heads over to the OR suite's reception desk. He spots Van Pelt and heads over to her instead. There is a puzzled look on his face as he notes Hightower's presence. Grace spots him and wanders over to meet him.

"How's Jane?" he asks.

Grace sighs. "They're just finishing up surgery. They were able to stop the bleeding. Apparently the knife punctured both his liver and his lung. He's lucky to be alive." She smiles, wearily. Wayne smiles back.

"That's great news."

"Yeah…What are you doing here anyway? Aren't you and Cho supposed be interviewing Jane's attacker?" asks Grace, a crease forming on her brow.

"Yeah. He's down in the ER. Had some kind of seizure in the holding cell. Cho's with him," explains Rigsby. He takes in a breath. "Guy's freaky, you know. I don't think we would've got much out of him anyway. He was just constantly mumbling, incoherently. We think he may have taken something, or is mentally deranged."

Grace shrugs. "Maybe it's a little of both."

"That's what Cho said." Rigsby looks around. "Where's Lisbon? And what is Hightower doing here?"

"Lisbon's waiting for Jane in Recovery. Apparently he put her down as his next of kin on his medical forms. Madeleine was at CBI when news of the assault came in. She's here to offer her support, but if you ask me [?] I think she may have a bit of a soft spot for Jane." She raises her eyebrows conspiratorially and smirks.

"The ice queen? Nah. You've been reading too much of that romantic rubbish you like so much. It's turning your brain to mush." He grins mischievously at her.

"Hey!" Grace playfully bashes him on the arm.

"Still. Good news about Jane, huh? I'd better go and tell Cho. I only left him to get some coffee." He nods and raises a hand to wave briefly in Hightower's direction, then turns and heads back to the elevator.

Hightower acknowledges and returns Rigsby's wave, then wanders over to Grace. "Good to see you two managed to work things out. Sorry I had to split you up like that, but I had to follow the rules."

Grace shrugs dismissively. "Oh hey, water under the bridge. No hard feelings."

"He's not hanging around?" asks Madeleine.

"No, he has to get back downstairs. Jane's attacker had some kind of seizure. He's down in the ER," explains Van Pelt.

"You caught him already? That's excellent work." Hightower's eyes denote respect.

"We were at the scene when it happened. So, yeah…"

At that moment, Lisbon wanders back into the Reception area. She looks exhausted. Hightower and Van Pelt move over to her.

"How's Jane?" asks Grace.

"He's sedated. They have him on a respirator for the time being to give his lung some time to heal. Doctor says he's gonna be out for hours…" She rolls her neck to try and loosen the muscles. "God, I'm tight."

"Why don't you two go home and get some sleep? I'll stay here," offers Hightower. Before they start to protest, she raises a hand. "I promise I will call if there is any change."

"What about your kids?" asks Lisbon.

"They're with their grandparents tonight," replies Madeleine.

Lisbon takes a deep breath. "I guess I could use a shower." She looks down at her ruined shirt and jeans. "Okay…but you'll call if -"

"The very second," assures Hightower.

Grace grabs her jacket from one of the chairs. She smirks at Hightower who gives her a quizzical look in return. Then she turns back to Lisbon. "We need to check in with Cho and Rigsby downstairs and then I'll drive you."

"Cho and Rigsby? Downstairs? What are you talking about?" There is a puzzled frown on Lisbon's face.

"I'll fill you in on the way," replies Grace. She and Lisbon head for the elevator.


Rigsby wanders over to Cho, who is still standing outside the Trauma Room. Wayne hands him a paper cup of brown sludge masquerading as coffee.

"What was the weather like?" asks Cho, straight-faced.

Rigsby is confused. "What?"

"In Columbia…I assume that's where you got the coffee?"

"Oh…yeah," replies Rigsby, getting Cho's sardonic quip. "Funny. No, I..uh…went to check on Jane. He's just coming out of surgery."

Cho nods. "Okay." He takes a deep breath.

"Yeah. Apparently the knife damaged his liver and a lung. But he's hanging in there. Lisbon's with him," added Rigsby, sipping his coffee and pulling a face at the taste. He looks around and throws the whole cup into a waste bin nearby.

"Yeah. He's a fighter," declares Cho.

"Hey, did you know Jane listed Lisbon as his next of kin?"

"Nope." Cho looks at his friend and colleague for a moment. There is a slight pause. He can almost hear the cogs whirring in Rigsby's head.

His partner opens his mouth, "Who did you p - ?"

"It wasn't you if that's what you want to know," Cho answers, his tone steady as a rock.

An irritated, yet somehow disappointed, frown momentarily flashes across Rigsby's brow at Cho's response. But it is quickly forgotten as, at that moment, one of the ER doctors comes out to speak to them.

"Agents Cho and Rigsby? I'm Dr Mark Ross. I've been working on your prisoner."

"How's he doing?" asks Rigsby.

"We've got the seizures under control but he's going to be admitted. I've got a Psych Consultant coming down and we're waiting on the result of his blood tests to determine exactly what is in his system," explained the doctor.

"So he has taken drugs?" asks Cho.

"Given the level of agitation he's been displaying, I'd say that's most likely. We're going to move him to one of the side rooms so that you can keep a close eye on him in a more discreet manner. I'll let you know more when I get the blood results back."

"Okay, thanks," says Cho.

Ross goes back into the Trauma Room and a few moments later Stanton is wheeled out on his gurney. The two agents follow the orderly moving him into the small room at the end of the hallway.

Once he is settled into the bed, Cho places a handcuff around one of Stanton's wrists and the other to the bedrail. A nurse tuts her disapproval and shakes her head as she checks her patient's chart.

Cho looks at her. "He's being charged with attempted homicide, ma'am. I'd hate for him to get loose."

The nurse looks at her unconscious patient and then looks at Cho incredulously.

"I don't think he'll be going anywhere for a while, do you?" she asks, unimpressed by Cho's cool tone.

"I don't want to take that chance. Do you?" he retorts.

The nurse shakes her head again, more in disbelief than in answer. Then she replaces the chart and leaves the room. Rigsby throws a pinched smile at her and holds the door open. She merely glances at him as she goes past muttering something about working in a hospital not a prison. He raises his eyebrows and looks over at Cho.

"Way to go at getting the nurses on board," he says sarcastically.

Cho shrugs slightly, unwavering in his belief. "Sometimes they just need to let us do our job," he states.


Lisbon's rented townhouse, Sacramento, CA

Lisbon closes her eyes as she sighs heavily, allowing the water from the shower to massage her shoulders and neck. As the Agent in charge of the unit, truly speaking she feels she should be at the hospital guarding Stanton, but she trusts Cho to handle it, so she tries to put it to the back of her mind for the time being. She looks down at her feet and notices the brownish/reddish liquid circling the drain – Jane's blood. She hopes fervently that it isn't a metaphor for Jane's current condition. She looks at her hand. She can still see the blood even though the shower has washed it away. Words from a Shakespeare play that Jane once made her go to watch run through her head. 'Out damned spot. Out!' A hint of a smile plays on her mouth at the memory, then she shudders and runs both hands over her head, smoothing her hair back. She turns off the shower and grabs a towel.

Moments later she is padding around her bedroom alternating her gaze between her bed and a pile of fresh clothes on a chair. Despite her exhaustion, she doesn't feel as though she would get any sleep. She grabs a fresh pair of jeans and a sweater and heads back into the bathroom.


Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Madeleine Hightower has managed to sneak into the Recovery area. She is hovering outside Jane's room trying to peer through the half closed blinds on the hallway window that looks into his room. A nurse walks up behind her.

"Excuse me, are you the wife?" she asks, having just come on shift.

Madeleine hesitates slightly before nodding silently. The nurse smiles warmly and nods towards the door. "It's okay, don't be afraid. You can go in. Just be as quiet as you can. He really needs his rest."

Madeleine smiles appreciatively and slowly opens the door as the nurse wanders away. She stands for a few seconds in the doorway, takes a deep breath and enters, closing the door softly behind her. She wanders over to the foot of Jane's bed, then round to the right-hand side - Jane's left. He is unconscious. The only sounds in the room are the gentle beep of his heart rate monitor and the rhythmic mechanical sound of the respirator filling his lungs with air. Hightower looks at all the gadgets and then back down at Jane. He seems to have tubes coming out of everywhere. A thin cotton sheet is pulled up to his waist and an open hospital gown has been draped over his upper torso. There are more wires and tubes protruding from beneath it. Madeleine takes a few steps closer, reaches down and lightly places her hand on Jane's, careful not to disturb the pulse oximeter attached to his index finger.

"Patrick, Patrick, Patrick…" she whispers. "What have you gotten yourself into this time?" She takes a deep breath and leans forward, gently placing a kiss on the top of his forehead. Then she takes a step back and seats herself in a chair a few feet away. She sits and watches over him, trying hard to stop her eyelids from drooping.


It has only been a little over an hour and a half since Lisbon had left the hospital when she is walking back out of the elevator on the fifth floor. She looks over at the reception waiting area to greet Hightower, but can't see her anywhere. 'Maybe she went to get a coffee?' she thinks to herself. Instead of hanging around to wait for her, Lisbon decides to go directly to Jane's room.

She opens the door, not immediately noticing Hightower in the corner. Her eyes are fixed firmly on Jane, who hasn't moved an inch since she had last seen him. The sound of the door's gentle closing mechanism stirs Hightower, who is lightly dozing.

Lisbon's eye catches the movement.

"Oh hey. How did you get in here?" she asks, puzzled, as only next of kin and close family are supposed to be allowed.

Hightower inhales and stretches her arms a little. "I lied. Figured you wouldn't want him to be alone… Guess I was right, 'cos here y'are." She smiles, raising an eyebrow.

Lisbon wanders over to the opposite side of Jane's bed and places a hand on his. She looks down at him, her eyes running along the length of his dormant form. "Yeah. Thanks. Any change?"

"Nope. Nothing…Did the doctor give any indication as to how long he'll be in this state?" asks Madeleine.

Lisbon shakes her head. She turns to pull up a chair closer to the bedside. "Not really. He just said 'hours'. They don't want him moving around just yet so they're keeping him sedated. I guess it's to give his injuries a chance to start healing. Still…"

Hightower looks at her knowingly. "I know. You'd rather he was awake irritating the hell out of everybody."

Lisbon exhales a slight laugh. "Yeah. Stupid huh? I should be making the most of the peace and quiet, right?"

Hightower shakes her head slightly. She smiles. "Not at all. I know what you mean. I've kinda been missing his crazy antics some myself." She smiles again, checks her watch and stands up. "Well, I guess I'd better be going. I should really be there when Mimi and Will wake up." She begins to walk to the door.

"Madeleine?" says Lisbon. Hightower turns back and looks over at the tired-looking brunette. Lisbon glances at Jane and then back at her former boss. "Thank you."

Hightower's smile is thoughtful. She casts a lingering glance at Jane. "Anytime," she says and then leaves.

Lisbon sighs heavily, looks briefly around the room and then back at Jane. She slumps backward in her chair, one hand still placed on top of Jane's, the other massaging the crease at the top of her nose. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, waiting and hoping that some kind of sleep will follow.


CBI HQ, Sacramento, CA

Grace places her jacket on the back of her chair, grabs her mug and heads into the kitchen area to get a coffee. She yawns and cricks her neck. She was unable to get any useful sleep last night, or rather earlier this morning. She wonders about going back to the hospital but figures that, as she isn't listed as a close relative, there would be no point in her sitting by herself in the waiting room whilst Lisbon was only metres away in Jane's room. She decides instead to see what she can dig up on Jane's attacker.

Steaming mug in hand, she sits down in front of her computer and begins tapping. It isn't long before she pulls up a number of details about Jason Stanton. She picks up the handset of her phone and dials Rigsby's number.

Parking Lot, Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Rigsby comes to with a jolt. There is a loud ringing sound and something wiggling around in his jacket pocket. He manages to extricate himself from the semi-horizontal position in the front passenger seat of Cho's car and answers his phone with a yawn.

"Sorry," he says into the handset. "What's up Grace?" He looks at his watch and rubs sleep from an eye as he listens as Van Pelt begins to report some of her findings about Stanton.

"He was a patient where?" asks Rigsby. "Okay. I'll check with hospital records. Strange that the Psych Consultant didn't mention it, though… Lisbon? No, I think she's still in with Jane. Yeah, I'll let you know." He hangs up and heads back to the main entrance.


Cho is standing at the foot of Stanton's bed. His arms are folded and he is rolling his neck around, loosening up the muscles. He is staring at Stanton when Rigsby enters the room.

"Hey," greets the taller Agent.

"Hey," responds Cho.

"You get any sleep?" enquires Rigsby.

"Not really. You?"

Rigsby shakes his head. "Grace just called. Get this, Stanton has been an out-patient at the Psych Department here for the last three years."

"Strange that the Psych Consultant didn't say anything," says Cho.

"That's what I said. Maybe we should have another little chat with Dr Cassell."

"Yeah." Cho uncrosses his arms. "Stanton's not going anywhere. The nurse just hit him up with another dose of Haldol." They exit the room.

As they leave, the ER doctor from earlier comes over to them. He is holding a sheet of paper. "We got the results back from the blood tests."

"And?" asks Cho.

"There are high levels of Ketamine in the patient's system."

"Ketamine? That's a veterinary drug, right?" questions Cho.

"Yes, but it is also used as an anaesthetic and sometimes in the treatment of bi-polar and depression disorders," explains Dr Ross.

"Could it cause someone to kill?" asks Rigsby.

"It certainly could cause hallucinations and the behaviours associated with that. It depends on the stimulus for and the severity of the hallucinations themselves."

"Okay, thanks Dr Ross," says Cho. The doctor goes back to continue his work and Cho and Rigsby continue on down the hallway, heading for the elevator.

"Curiouser and curiouser," states Rigsby. "Wonder if Stanton was prescribed it or if it was just recreational," he muses.

"Let's go find out. Psych ward is on 3, right?" Cho presses the call button at the elevator and looks up at the digital display, waiting for the doors to ping.


Lisbon has the strange sensation that her hand is rising into the air. She opens her eyes and gives a start at the sight of the back of a pair of salmon-coloured scrubs standing in front of her.

"Oh, sorry," says the nurse. "I was trying not to disturb you."

"That's okay," answers Lisbon, scooting herself up in her seat and trying, surreptitiously, to wipe away a thin strand of drool from the side of her mouth.

"Nothing to worry about; just checking his dressings," the nurse reassures, leaning back over Jane.

"Okay," responds Lisbon. She blinks, trying to focus and can't stop her eyes from trying to peek around the nurse at Jane's injuries. All she sees is a quick flash of flesh as the nurse replaces the loosely draped hospital gown.

"I guess it's an occupational hazard, huh?" notes the nurse.

"What is?"

"Knife wounds. I noticed the other two scars he has just beneath his rib cage. They're quite old, probably about eight to ten years. Both fairly superficial but one was a nasty slice. Was he still working with the CBI when it happened?" enquires the nurse.

Lisbon is momentarily stunned. She doesn't know anything about other knife wounds. She looks up at the nurse, drawing her eyes away from Jane's covered abdomen. "Uh…no…he wasn't," she answers.

The nurse makes a small sound in acknowledgement and heads for the door. "The doctor will be in to see him soon. Rounds begin at 11."

'11?' thinks Lisbon, 'how long was I asleep?' She checks her watch. Sure enough it shows that it's just after 10.30 am. She should really check in with Cho, but first she needs to satisfy herself about what the nurse has just told her. Her eyes drift to the door as she stands and moves to Jane's side. Her left hand starts to lift the side of the hospital gown and she begins to sneak a peek. Before she can look properly, she hears the gentle swish of the door opening. She drops the gown and tries to look innocent. Cho is standing looking at her.

"What are you doing?" he asks.

"Nothing," replies Lisbon, a little too quickly. "How did you get in here?"

Without a trace of humor in his voice, the short, Korean Agent replies, "I told them I was his twin brother."

Lisbon shoots him a look. "I was just about to call you. What's going on with Stanton?"

"They've admitted him to Psych for further testing. He's still not speaking…except in Tongues, or something. Probably due to the high amounts of Ketamine in his system. We're not gonna get anything out of him," reports Cho.

"Ketamine? Where did he get that?"

Cho shrugs.

"Do we know anything else about him?" Lisbon is irritated at the fact that the answer is right in front of them, but they're still not getting anywhere.

"Yeah. Grace discovered that Stanton was convicted for assaulting his mother with a knife when he was sixteen. He's been in and out of various Psych facilities but was released in 2008. He's been an out-patient here in the Psychiatric Department for the last three years. Rigsby and I tried to speak with Dr Cassell, the Consultant who admitted him, to find out who has been treating him, but his shift already ended. He's back on at 7 tonight. We tried with his assistant, but she demanded a warrant…" Deadpan, he adds, "…that was after we managed to convince her that Rigsby wasn't a patient."

Lisbon sighs. "Okay…You guys get any sleep?"

"Not much. I'll grab a couple of hours back at the office. We're heading back there now. Just wanted to check in on Jane."

"Yeah, there's no change yet. Doctor's due soon. I'll find out more then. In the meantime, you and Rigsby head home. Get some sleep. I need you to interview Cassell when he comes back on shift."

"Okay, I'll let Van Pelt know." Cho turns and leaves.

Lisbon looks back down at Jane. Despite the mouth-guard covering the intubation tube, he looks to be sleeping peacefully. A hint of a tender smile forms at her lips. Gently, she places a hand on his head and her thumb brushes across his forehead.

"Dammit, Jane. I need you on this one," she says quietly. Then she remembers something and looks back at the gown covering Jane's abdomen. She glances at the door, and just as her hand is poised to lift the gown in a second attempt, the doctor walks in, followed by a nurse. Lisbon's hand quickly shoots upwards and she rubs the back of her neck with it.

"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. I'm Doctor James Cutter. I was the surgeon who worked on your husband here." He looks at Jane whilst holding his chart in his hand.

Lisbon almost chokes and shakes her head. "Uh, he's not my husband. We're not married." Then she realises that she still hasn't really cleared up the misunderstanding. "Uh, not dating either…we're colleagues." The words tumble out as she feels the need to explain.

"Oh, sorry," apologises Dr Cutter.

"Don't be," says Lisbon recovering herself. "It's a good thing, believe me," she adds.

"Okay. Let's take a look at our patient here." Cutter wanders over to Jane's side. He lifts the gown, checks Jane's abdomen, and the area near his ribs where a chest tube had been inserted. Lisbon raises her head slightly to try and sneak a peek. The doctor replaces the gown. He then looks into Jane's eyes, one by one, holding each lid open with his thumb. He shines a penlight into them. Then he checks the machine readouts and Jane's chart.

"Okay. Everything looks good. We'll give him a couple more hours and then we'll start to withdraw the sedative. See about bringing him round," announces Cutter. He smiles warmly at Lisbon. "You're colleague is a lucky man," he states.

Lisbon smiles back and allows her breath out. "Great! Thank you." Her eyes flash her gratitude.

"No problem." Cutter looks at the nurse and they head out of the room.

Lisbon sighs with some relief, looks at Jane and then heads off to find some coffee.


CBI HQ, Sacramento, CA

Grace looks over at the brown leather couch across to her left. A tender smile crosses her lips as she watches Rigsby's awkwardly-positioned slumbering form. This is briefly replaced by a flicker of sadness as she thinks about Jane lying in his hospital bed, instead of his usual position on this couch. She intakes a breath, picks up her mug and heads for a refill.

As she crosses the corridor, she sees Cho coming out of Lisbon's office. He is stretching, both arms bent inwards at the elbows, his fists clenched. She waves her cup at him and he nods.

A few seconds later, he is at her side in the kitchen area. She hands him a mug of coffee.

"Thanks." He takes a slurp. "Mmm, tastes good." He blinks his eyes a few times. "You manage to find out who was treating Stanton yet?" he asks.

Van Pelt nods. "I by-passed the Psych Department. I sent some agents with a warrant to search Stanton's apartment and, as well as several mutilated small animals…yuck!..." She pulls a quick face, "…they found some prescription drugs in his bathroom. Mostly the usual anti-depressants and a couple of anti-psychotics. But there was also something called Ketanest S – It's a brand name for Ketamine."

"Guess that answers that question," says Cho. "The drug was prescribed."

"Yeah. The date on the bottle was three days ago and the script was filled at the hospital. I checked with the pharmacy. According to them, Dr Cassell was the prescriber."

"Interesting. Guess he forgot to mention that when he admitted Stanton… Good work, Grace."

Grace smiles and follows Cho as he heads back in to the bullpen. He wanders over to the couch and knees the cushion. Rigsby wakes with a start.

"Get up. We need to go back to the hospital," declares Cho.

Rigsby raises his nose as he smells the coffee in Cho's cup. He thinks it's for him and holds out his hand. "Thanks, man."

Cho just looks at him. "Pot's full. Get your own," he states simply and walks away. Rigsby gives him a slightly irritated look as Grace tries to bite her amusement.

Rigsby looks at her, unamused. "Oh ha ha."

Grace mocks him. "Oooh, I forgot how grumpy you can be when you haven't had enough sleep." She smiles. Rigsby's look softens at the memory of how she would know that. He intakes a breath and rises from the couch.

Cho wanders back over, throwing a jacket at Rigsby. "Come on, we're leaving."

Rigsby points a finger in the direction of the kitchen. "But…uh…the coffee…"

"Get one at the hospital," says Cho.

Rigsby pulls a face at the memory of the brown sludge. "Maybe I'll pass."

"Good call," states Cho and walks off, out of the bullpen. Rigsby looks at Grace, who raises an eyebrow, and then he rushes off to catch up with the more senior agent.


Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

It's been several hours since the nurse stopped administering Jane's sedatives. Lisbon sits watching him closely for any change in his breathing pattern. The doctor has told her to hit the nurse call button as soon as he starts to become aware of the tube down his throat. When she'd asked him how she would know, Cutter had just cryptically said, "Oh, you'll know."

She realises he is right, when Jane begins emitting a gurgling-choking sound and becomes slightly agitated. He is fighting against the tube that is breathing for him. Hitting the call button, she strokes his head and tells him not to fight against it; that the tube is helping him and to just go with it. She assures him that there is a doctor on the way to remove it. It seems to help a little as his breathing begins to regulate again, but, although his eyes are still closed, Lisbon can tell he isn't completely happy about it.

The nurse arrives, accompanied by the doctor. They shoo Lisbon out of the room whilst they remove the tube and make Jane a bit more comfortable. She waits outside the closed door.

On his way out, Dr Cutter tells Lisbon that, although still very groggy from the sedative, Jane is breathing comfortably for himself and that he shouldn't try to speak yet; his throat and vocal chords need time to settle. Lisbon thanks the doctor again and enters the room, passing the leaving nurse.

The diminutive brunette goes back to her position at the side of Jane's right. His eyes are closed and he is wearing a nasal cannula. He seems to be settled. She takes a deep breath and exhales loudly. The sound causes Jane's eyelids to flicker a little. He opens his right eye slightly and tries to focus.

"Hey," he utters. His voice is raspy and sounds painfully forced.

Lisbon smiles warmly at him. She moves her face closer to his. "Hush. The doctor says you shouldn't try to speak for a couple of hours."

Jane's eye closes again. Sleepily, he whispers, "Meh…doctors…" He takes in a deep breath and drifts off to sleep.

Lisbon can't help but smile and shake her head at his stubbornness. She looks at him for a lengthy minute, then moves over to the window behind her, overlooking the parking lot. She turns her back to Jane and pushes her hands deep into her jean pockets, so that her arms are almost straight and her shoulders are raised. A tear trickles down her right cheek and she releases a hand to wipe it away quickly. She takes in a deep, but slightly stilted breath and stares blindly out through the glass.


Dr Richard Cassell's Office, Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Dr Cassell, his mid-brown hair turned grey at the temples giving him a distinguished air, is seated at his desk. He is thumbing through what looks like a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings. At the sound of the door opening, he flicks the book shut and quickly places it into the drawer of his desk, turning the key. He looks up to see his assistant pursuing the two CBI Agents he'd met on his previous shift.

"I'm sorry, Dr Cassell, but they wouldn't wait," apologises a small, hard-looking woman with wiry, half-moon glasses perched on the end of her nose.

Cassell waves dismissively, "It's okay, Sheila." He waits for her to close the door and then looks at Cho and Rigsby. "What can I do for you, Agents?"

"Jason Stanton has been your patient for the last three years," states Rigsby.

Cassell clasps his hands in front of him, resting on the desk. "Yes?" He sounds unsure.

"You failed to mention that earlier. Why was that?" questions Cho, who has seated himself in one of the chairs in front of the doctor's desk.

"Uhhh…Doctor-patient confidentiality. I was under no obligation to tell you. Asides from which, you never actually asked," answers Cassell, smugly.

"What's he being treated for?" asks Rigsby.

"I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to discuss that with you…"

"Yeah, doctor-patient confidentiality, I get it," responds Cho. "How about I get a warrant? Get some agents in here going through everything, messing up Sheila's filing system…"

A brief flash of fear enters Cassell's eyes. He holds up his hands in defeat. "Okay, okay. I don't think there's any need for that." He presses the button on the intercom. "Sheila? Please bring in Jason Stanton's file." There is a click as he depresses the button.

"Stanton is suffering from multiple disorders," he explains. The door opens and Sheila wanders over and hands him a file. She gives Cho and Rigsby a disapproving look and then leaves again.

Cho looks at him expectantly. Cassell continues. "Yes, he's a strange case. We've been having difficulty regulating his medication."

"Why's that?" asks Rigsby.

"Well, he keeps missing appointments for one thing," states the psychiatrist.

"But he showed up for his last appointment, right? Three days ago? You wrote him a script for Ketamine," Cho reminds.

"Yes, that's right. It was a bit of a breakthrough actually."

"How so?" asks Cho.

"Well, he seemed to open up a bit more than usual. Spoke of different voices he was hearing in his head. One in particular seemed to be giving him more grief than the others," explains Cassell.

"Voices in his head," repeats Cho. The doctor nods. Cho continues, somewhat skeptically. "What do these voices tell him?"

"Well, this one in particular was appealing to some of the more aggressive qualities he has," begins the psychiatrist, aware that he has piqued their interest.

"You mean like Son of Sam: David Berkowitz? … Like a dog telling him to kill?" interjects Rigsby.

Cho looks at his colleague and nods in recognition of the analogy.

"There are similarities," continues Cassell. "But in this case it wasn't a dog. He had developed an obsessive preoccuptation with a recent serial killer, and I suppose it was inevitable that something was going to happen." The doctor sighs resignedly. "I should have seen it sooner."

"Yeah," says Cho. He pauses for a second and then asks, "Which serial killer?"

"Yes, not one that's known to me I'm afraid…" He tries to remember off the top of his head and, failing, looks down at the file. "…Ah yes, here it is. A character called 'Red John'? Stanton claimed to be getting instructions from him."

Cho and Rigsby exchange quick looks.

"Stanton was being told to commit violent acts by Red John?" repeats Cho.

The doctor shrugs his eyebrow. "That's what he claimed. You've heard of him?"

Cho breathes in deeply. "Do you record your sessions, doctor?"

"Yes, of course. They're all on CD."

"We're going to need to take those with us," says Rigsby, firmly.

Cassell looks unsure, and a little worried, at first and then he remembers what Cho had said about a warrant. He nods, "O – Okay. If you must." He opens a filing drawer on the other side of his desk and pulls out a small box containing CDs. He riffles through a few and pulls out the bundle labelled with Stanton's name.

Handing them over, he says, "You understand these are strictly confidential…" Rigsby nods slightly, trying to ignore the patronising insinuation, and takes the thin bundle. The psychiatrist's eyes are almost pleading. "And please don't tell Sheila…She wouldn't approve," he adds.

Cho gets up. "We'll probably have more questions for you, so please make yourself available."

They leave. Rigsby half-smiles at Sheila on the way out and thanks her, but just gets a frosty look in return.

As he walks, Cho pulls out his cell-phone and hits speed dial. "Yeah, Van Pelt. I need you to pull a list of all of Stanton's relatives and known associates, and see if he has a phone. We need to track anyone he had contact with in the last week." He hangs up and presses the button to call the elevator.


Jane's Room, Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Lisbon is once more seated in the chair at the side of Jane's bed. Her head is being propped up by her left hand. Her eyes are heavy and she fights against closing them. Suddenly her elbow slips off the edge of the chair arm and she jerks wide awake. Jane's head is turned towards her and his eyes are half-open.

She smiles and leans forward. "Hey, sleeping beauty!" she quips.

Jane's tongue runs over his lips and he dry swallows. "Hey," he replies. The dryness of his throat makes him sound like he has a severe case of laryngitis. He tries again to swallow, and winces. "Tea?" he whispers, hopefully.

Lisbon shakes her head slightly. "Sorry. No can do…but I got some delicious ice chips here. You wanna try some?" She picks up a small bowl from the bedside table and holds it in front of him.

Jane's eyes land on the bowl and he looks at Lisbon with a slight nod. Lisbon scoops up a few small pieces onto a spoon. Jane's mouth opens in anticipation and she feeds them to him like mother to toddler. The small amount of chips is quickly gone and Jane's tongue moves around the inside of his mouth searching for lubrication before gently peeping out and running over his lips again.

"More?" asks Lisbon, scooping the spoon again. Jane opens his mouth in response, his tongue waiting. Lisbon pinches her own lips together in a half-smirk. 'This is probably the most control I've ever had of him' she thinks to herself. The action is repeated a few more times before Jane raises his hand a little, signalling that he's had enough.

Lisbon replaces the bowl. "Better?" she enquires.

Jane's voice is still raspy, but doesn't sound as painful, as he nods. "Thanks." He coughs to clear his throat and winces at the pain it causes. His hand moves instinctively towards his abdomen. He exhales, closes his eyes and pushes his head softly against the pillow until it subsides.

Lisbon can only watch with a slight grimace. She waits until his eyes refocus and then asks him, "Do you remember what happened?"

Jane looks at the ceiling and thinks. "I remember you threatening to kill me," he says, then glancing around the otherwise empty room, he adds, "Should I be worried right now? Where're the guys?"

Lisbon exhales a gentle scoff at his remark. "You were attacked," she states.

Jane is taking everything in with his eyes. He looks at all the tubes attached to him and then at the machines. "No kidding," he utters, unable to hide the sarcasm.

Lisbon ignores his tone. "Yeah…you had me worried there for a minute…Thought I was going to have to call The Goodwill to come and collect your couch."

Jane looks at her full on. Lisbon grins and raises her eyebrows as if challenging him.

"You wouldn't," says Jane, although he doesn't sound so sure.

Lisbon doesn't reply. Her eyes continue to taunt him for a few seconds before she breaks the silence. "Anyway, we got the guy. He's downstairs on the Psych ward. Cho and Rigsby are talking to his doctor and Van Pelt's running a background check on him to see if we can figure out why he attacked you."

Jane tries to acknowledge her words without having to speak or move too much.

"Did he say anything to you before…?" she lets the rest of the question hang unsaid.

Jane swallows. "He said 'this is for Red John, or from Red John'…something like that." His voice breaks up a little as he speaks. He swallows again, wincing.

"Okay," says Lisbon, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Get some rest. We'll talk more tomorrow." Jane nods and closes his eyes as she picks up her jacket from the chair.

Quietly, she makes her way over to the door. Her hand is on the handle when she hears Jane whisper her name. She looks over to him. His eyes are still closed and his head rests on the pillow.


"You'd really give my couch away?" is the sleepy, raspy response.

Lisbon shakes her head and exhales a laugh. "Guess I could keep it around a while longer. You never know when it might come in useful." She smiles at the subtext in her statement. "Now go to sleep!" she orders. The hint of a contented grin flickers on Jane's face, and Lisbon listens to the sound of his breath relaxing as he drifts back into sleep. Satisfied, she leaves.


CBI HQ, Sacramento, CA – late evening

Lisbon wanders into the bullpen. Van Pelt is just coming out of the kitchen area.

"Oh hey, Boss. How's Jane?" Her eyes display her genuine concern about the consultant.

"He's gonna be fine. We spoke before I left. He's sleeping now," reports Lisbon.

Van Pelt sighs and smiles, "Oh thank God, I'm so glad…It's kinda strange around here without him."

"Yeah," replies Lisbon. "What did Cho and Rigsby find out from the psychiatrist, Cassell?"

"I'm still working my way through listening to the CDs of his sessions with Stanton. Apparently Cassell says Stanton was hearing the voice of Red John telling him to do things," says Van Pelt.

"Really? That ties in with what Jane said. He told me the guy claimed he was acting for Red John just before he stabbed him."



"You think he really could be acting for Red John?" asks Grace.

"I don't know. It doesn't seem to fit with Red John's style, but it's a possibility we have to look into," answers Lisbon. "Where's Cho?"

"He's with Rigsby. They went to check out a couple of names on Stanton's phone records. There weren't very many…mostly calls from the hospital, but two in particular stood out; one in Broderick and one in Ridgeway Park." Grace sits back down at her desk and picks up a pair of headphones that are connected to her computer. She rolls her neck and then places a new CD into the drive.

Lisbon stands for a moment, unmoving. She's not sure what she can be doing, her team seem to have been managing perfectly well without her. She looks at Grace, "I'll be in my office," she says and walks off as Grace nods in acknowledgement.


Welland Way, Broderick, CA

Cho and Rigsby are just getting back into their vehicle when Cho's cell phone rings.

"Cho. Hi Lisbon… We're just leaving Broderick now…Nothing useful." He listens for a few seconds, then responds, "Okay." The conversation is brief. He replaces the phone inside his jacket pocket as he reaches round for his seatbelt. Rigsby is in the driver's seat. He looks at Cho with eagerness in his eyes.

"How's Jane?"

Cho shrugs, "Didn't say. Said to go home and check out Ridgeway tomorrow." He stares through the windshield, waiting for Rigsby to start the engine.

Rigsby continues to look at his partner in disbelief – more so for the fact that he hadn't asked about Jane, than for the fact that they were being ordered to halt the investigation for the night. Still, he is relieved not to have to drive to Ridgeway Park tonight. He allows himself to think about the sleep he will be able to catch up on. He turns the key and they drive off.


CBI HQ, Sacramento, CA

Lisbon is lying on her couch when Van Pelt enters her office. She sits up to be met with the younger agent's eager look.

"What's up?" asks Lisbon.

"I was listening to Cassell's CDs with Stanton and I noticed something," says Van Pelt.


"Well, the sessions are scheduled for an hour each…and yet, the recordings for each session only last for 45 minutes…I'm wondering what happened in the other 15."

Lisbon isn't too impressed. She's more interested in what is said in the 45 minute recordings. "Probably setting up. What does he say about the voices and Red John?"

"Well, that's just it…"

Lisbon gives a quizzical look as Grace continues. "He mentions about the feel of blood on his hands and how much satisfaction he gets from smearing it on walls…but he doesn't actually mention the words 'Red John'…"

"But Cassell said that – " begins Lisbon.

Grace cuts her off. "He, Stanton, doesn't mention Red John…but get this, Cassell does… several times in fact…and the language he uses in the conversations, words like 'smiley', 'slicing' and 'stab'. It's almost like he's planting ideas in Stanton's head. He is a psychiatrist so I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to do." She looks at her boss to see if she agrees, quickly adding, "And Cho did say Cassell seemed to be hiding something."

Lisbon contemplates Van Pelt's theory. "Hmmm, does sound a little 'off'. Okay. Go home, get some sleep. We'll go talk to Cassell again before his shift ends in the morning. Meet me back here at 6 am".

Van Pelt nods, "Okay." She turns to leave, then turns back and smiles. "It's great news about Jane," she says happily.

Lisbon can't help but return the smile at the young agent's joy. "Yeah, it is. Good night, Grace."

"Night, boss." Grace leaves and Lisbon lies back down on the couch. Her arm drapes across her eyes, shielding them from the glow from the lamp across the room. She breathes in and then pulls the woolly blanket over her, that she'd collected from Jane's couch earlier, and settles down for the remainder of the night.


Dr Cassell's office, Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA - the following morning

Lisbon and Van Pelt stand in front of the desk where Cassell's assistant, Sheila is seated. She is typing something into her computer. Lisbon clears her throat to remind the woman that they have been standing there for several moments. Abruptly, and without taking her eyes off the screen the assistant holds up her index finger, pursing her lips.

Lisbon looks at Van Pelt incredulously. She is just about to launch into an impatient tirade when Sheila, lips still pursed, looks up at them over the rim of her wiry, half-moon glasses.

"Don't you people have murderers to catch instead of harassing Dr Cassell?" she complains.

It takes all of the restraint Lisbon can muster to stop from reaching over and grabbing this objectionable woman by the lapels of her crisp white blouse and shaking her. Instead she forces out a tight-lipped smile.

"We just need to clear up a few things…It's standard procedure. Shouldn't take long."

Van Pelt watches her dark-haired colleague with renewed admiration. She'd felt sure Lisbon was going to punch the small woman on the nose.

Sheila gives another disgruntled look. "One moment." She gets up from her desk, knocks on the doctor's door and enters without waiting for a response. She is gone for several seconds before returning. "You may go in now," she permits.

Lisbon repeats a brief tight-lipped smile. Grudgingly, Sheila holds the door as they pass, then pulls it to, leaving a slight gap.

"Oh…" says Dr Cassell, rising from his seat, seemingly surprised. "I was expecting the other two agents."

"Yeah. They're busy. I'm Agent Lisbon and this is Agent Van Pelt. We have a few follow up questions, if you don't mind."

"No, not all," replies Cassell, gesturing for them to take a seat. The two agents seat themselves. Cassell looks at them expectantly.

"I already told the other agents everything that I know," he proffers.

Lisbon is fed up with this dance. She is already highly irritated by the attitude of his assistant. "I don't think that's true, Dr Cassell."

Cassell is taken aback by her forthrightness. "Oh, I can assure you it is," he returns confidently, but there is a hint of worry in his eyes.

"Right," retorts Lisbon, skeptically. Then she continues. "You told Agent Cho that Stanton was obsessed with and heard the voice of Red John telling him to commit acts of violence."

Cassell nods, his lips pinched tightly together.

"We listened to the CD recordings," interjects Van Pelt. "It was you who kept mentioning Red John, not Stanton."

Lisbon looks at him, raising her eyebrows expectantly, waiting for him to explain.

The doctor's confidence begins to dissipate as he realises his error. His eyes search the room, widening as he notices a shadow pass by the open door.

"I…er…I…" He seems unable to formulate an answer and is relieved at the reprieve when Lisbon's phone rings. She looks at the display.

"Excuse me." She hits accept and speaks into the phone. "Yeah. Cho, where are you? What did you find out?..." She listens. "Okay…We're at the hospital following up on Cassell…No…" Her eyes glance towards the doctor's desk before looking back off to the side. "…Okay…You and Rigsby bring him in and I'll catch up with you soon…Yeah." She hangs up the phone and notices that the psychiatrist seems to have relaxed a little bit on hearing the one-sided conversation.

Deliberately, she speaks to Van Pelt in hushed tones, but loud enough for Cassell to overhear. "Cho says the Ridgeway connection looks promising. Stanton received a call from there right before the attack. Cho thinks it was the guy giving the orders."

Grace nods. Lisbon turns back to Dr Cassell, who is wearing a faint smile. "Good news?" he asks.

"Maybe," answers Lisbon quickly. "Just one more thing Dr Cassell…"

The psychiatrist looks at her obligingly.

"What do you have locked in your desk that you don't want us to see?" she asks, searchingly.

Van Pelt looks over at Lisbon, a little confused. She then looks at the doctor whose helpful smile has morphed into a look of abject horror and fear.

He is flustered and tries to cover up. "I'm sure I have no idea what you are talking about," he blurts out.

Lisbon's eyes signal for Van Pelt to check the top drawer. Grace walks over to the desk.

"Wait!" shouts Cassell, almost triumphantly. "Don't you need a warr-"

Before the words finish coming out of his mouth, there is a loud clatter outside the door. Lisbon rushes over. She enters the outer office to see that the contents of Sheila's desk are scattered all over the floor and Sheila is nowhere to be seen. She pulls out her phone to dial Cho's number.

Van Pelt calls from inside the doctor's office. "Boss…You're gonna want to see this!"

Lisbon returns to the office. Van Pelt is holding what looks like a scrapbook and is flicking through the pages. At the sound of Lisbon's approach, she holds it up to show her. "It's full of newspaper cuttings about Red John's crimes, and there are some about Jane, too," reports the redhead.

Lisbon's lips are parted. She puts her phone to her ear but doesn't get chance to speak before Cho and Rigsby enter the office, pushing a cuffed Sheila ahead of them.

Cassell leaps out of his seat, "It was all her!" he yells. "She forced me into it!" He looks at the scrapbook in Van Pelt's hands. "That book is hers!"

Sheila purses her lips and glares at him. "Oh shut up, Robert. You always were weak," she hisses. She tries to wriggle free of Rigsby's grasp. He pulls her back but she slams her heel down onto his foot. He grimaces and pulls his foot back quickly, then grabs hold of her arm again and holds even more tightly. He glares back at her.

Lisbon's open mouth turns up at the corners. "Ha, two for the price of one," she says, flippantly, as Van Pelt cuffs the psychiatrist.


Jane's room, Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, CA - that evening

Jane is sitting up in a more upright position. He has more color in his cheeks and he is now wearing the hospital gown properly, although it isn't tied or tucked around him too tightly. The sheet is pulled a little higher up, and he is sipping from a cup and saucer when Lisbon walks into his room.

She smiles. "Someone's feeling better," she says, moving over to his right.

Jane grunts as he replaces his drink onto the hospital tray table that is positioned over his bed. "I was beginning to think you'd abandoned me," he complains.

Picking up a barely-eaten tub of raspberry jell-o from his discarded food tray, Lisbon replies, "Nope. Been busy…catching your attackers."

"I thought you already had…" There is a very brief pause as her word choice sinks in. "Attackers?" he asks.

"Yep." She scoops some of the jell-o into her mouth. "Mmmmm I love this stuff," she effuses, gesturing to the tub with her spoon.

"Don't let me stop ya," answers Jane, with a splay of his fingers and a roll of his eyes.

Lisbon realises she should really stop eating and explain, but she hasn't eaten in a while and the jell-o tastes really good. As Jane rolls his eyes for a second time and exhales another loud sigh, she decides that she's made him wait long enough. She puts the almost empty tub back on the tray and sits herself down in the chair next to him.

"It was Dr Cassell, and his assistant," she announces.

"The surgeon?" asks Jane with a horrified look, thinking that his attacker also cut him open, legitimately.

"Nooo, that's Dr Cutter… Cassell was -"

Jane interrupts her. "My surgeon was called Dr Cutter?" he asks in disbelief.

"Yeah…" answers Lisbon quickly. "You want to hear this or not?" she asks, grumpily.

"Hey, I would think that if anybody has the right to be grumpy here, it would be me. Here..." Jane reaches across to the jell-o tub on the tray and gives it back to Lisbon. The action causes him to wince a little.

Lisbon immediately feels guilty. Her head is pointing slightly downwards, but her eyes look up at Jane from below her fringe. "Sorry," she pouts, before shovelling the last bit of jell-o into her mouth.

Jane pulls a pained face and exhales. When Lisbon continues to just look at him, he rolls his eyes again. "I'm waiting…"

Lisbon scrunches up her nose and wonders why she felt guilty about causing him pain, because right now she'd like to cause him a bit more pain. Still, she bites her tongue and begins to explain how Sheila had been the driving force behind the whole thing; how she had developed an obsession and sympathy with Red John and objected to the fact that Jane had insulted him and was trying to catch him. The manipulative assistant had, by using blackmail about her affair with the psychiatrist, coerced Cassell into planting suggestions into Stanton's vulnerable mind, and she had been reinforcing these by calling Stanton on the phone, from the hospital as a legitimate cover, pretending to be the voice of Red John.

"So, although Stanton was actually the one who brandished the knife, it was Sheila who conspired to kill you…and it didn't really have anything to do with Red John," finishes Lisbon.

Jane has been listening intently. "Hmmm…never been the subject of a conspiracy before," he says, thoughtfully. "It's kinda comforting in a way that someone would take so much time to think about me." He seems almost pleased at the idea.

Lisbon looks at him in disbelief. "They only thought about you 'cos they wanted to kill you…and quite frankly[?] I'm beginning to feel a little sympathy with them myself."

Jane ignores her comment. He takes a deep breath, slides down in the bed, resting his head on the pillow, and places his hand over the sheet covering his dressing.

Lisbon's eyes follow the movement. Her tone becomes sympathetic. "Still sore, huh?"

Jane clears his throat, raises his hand and waves it from side to side. There is a lull in the conversation, and whilst still gazing at Jane's hand, Lisbon remembers what the nurse had said a couple of days previously.

"Jane?" she probes, tentatively.

He shifts his head slightly to look at her.

She hesitates before asking, "Have you ever… been… stabbed before?"

Jane's eyes swing away from her inquisitive gaze as he responds with an unsure sounding "No?"

Lisbon breathes. She doesn't want to pry but she needs to know. "So what are the other scars from then? The nurse says they look like knife wounds."

Jane swallows and shifts slightly. He is obviously feeling some discomfort and Lisbon is convinced it isn't because he's in physical pain. He clears his throat again. She is just about to tell him to forget she mentioned it when he speaks.

"Remember when I told you I spent some time in the hospital after…" He lets the sentence hang in the air. Lisbon nods. He averts his eyes and looks up at the ceiling. "Yeah, well… I ...uhh… I guess I needed to …uhh…" His hands come together across his abdomen and he continuously squeezes the tip of his right thumb. "… I wasn't myself and I …uh… it went through my head that I needed to know how they'd felt…you know…when they were…uhh." He swallows hard and takes a deep breath.

Tenderly, Lisbon places her hand on his arm. She understands what he's trying to say. Quietly she says, "You cut yourself."

His lip trembles and he quickly gives a slight nod. Tears well up in his eyes and he blinks them back. He bites his bottom lip and releases it to exhale a shaky breath, his voice breaking slightly. "I…uh... wanted to experience the pain that I'd caused…" There is a slight pause. "That and…" Lisbon squeezes his arm in encouragement. He goes on, "…uhh… I needed the blood to smear on the wall."

There is silence as Lisbon bites her lip and closes her eyes at the mental picture of a bloodied Jane sitting staring blindly at his own blood-smeared smiley face on the wall. She opens her eyes and blinks back a tear. Her hand takes his and she squeezes it gently.

"Sorry…I shouldn't have asked," she whispers.

Jane takes another deep breath and tries to bring himself out of it. "No…it's okay…it would have come out eventually…" He looks deep into her eyes. "It's good that you know," he assures her. Her gaze assures him that it will go no further. A hint of a sad, but appreciative smile plays on his lips.

They both look up at the sound of people talking loudly in the hallway outside. When the door to Jane's room bursts open, Lisbon quickly retrieves her hand, and Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt stroll in. Van Pelt is giggling. Rigsby looks a bit dejected; obviously the butt of someone's joke.

Grace sniggers again. "I'm just saying…I can understand why she thought you were a patient, that's all."

"Yeah, but a Psych patient?" whines Rigsby, and promptly trips over his own feet, resulting in a bizarre movement that looks almost like a Native-American Indian dance.

"Yep. I'd say it was understandable," states Cho, in his monotonous tone. Van Pelt can't hold back her laughter, Cho smirks and even Rigsby joins in, eventually.

Lisbon shakes her head with a grin at the interruption. She glances at Jane who is doing the same. They make brief eye contact and then Jane turns to the team, rubs his hands together salaciously and asks, "Okay, so what did you guys get me?"