Disclaimer: Not mine, ever.
Part One (Prologue)
There's nothing to fight for, it's already dead
and this is the world coming down on my head.
-Yellowcard (Down On My Head)
She sat in the courtroom, long after the rest had left. Her former team sat around her, in attempts to console her. They say there long after the judge had left, the jury, the audience. They still sat after the guilty man had been led out, with pleading eyes in the woman's direction. It's okay, they seemed to say, don't worry, I'm okay. But she knew this was false. This was the biggest lie, because everything was certainly not going to be okay. Her team sat around her, a hand on her shoulder, another on her arm, some facing her, others almost as shell-shocked. The redhead had tears streaming from her face and was trembling, but still stroking the woman's hair. An Asian man sat next to her, a comforting hand on her forearm. He was the picture of stability, though his brain was ricocheting through his skull, mind searching for something. Anything. Anything to change this. The other man, tall, stood behind the three, arm on the woman's shoulder. He too stared into nothing, eyes trained on something that none but he could see.
She would not cry. Could she, even if she felt the need? After all, you cry when you're overwhelmed, not when you're sad. She felt both. There was an impenetrable sadness that she felt down to her core. It felt like if she closed her eyes, she could fall into herself, into a black hole at the center of her body, and never come out again. Nothing terrified her more than this, save what was in the outside world right now. Still, she kept her eyes open, trying to face what life had thrown her way. But she couldn't. She couldn't face it, nor could she ignore it. So she sat, locked in a stalemate with the world, and within herself.
She could remember his laugh as if it was yesterday. Was it yesterday? No, it must have been at least a week ago. Still, she could remember the smile and laugh as if it was what she saw now. There was nothing she wouldn't give at that moment to have that back. She would give her life, a thousand times over, to not go through what had just happened, to not have heard the jury's verdict, to not have heard the judge's sentence. She hadn't moved since, barely noticing the people filing out around her. Some called her name; others had lingered by her, and then left. They didn't understand, and she didn't blame them, because they couldn't. It was not possible for anyone to feel as she did then, she was sure. No one else had as close of a tie to the case as she did, besides those directly involved. She was so invested in the case, in the situation, and in the defendant.
In a way, she supposed it was her fault. This idea lingered at the back of her mind, gnawing on her very existence. It was a weight on her shoulders, an insult to injury, and salt in her extensive wounds. She thought she could control his actions, control his temper, and control his thirst for revenge. How wrong she was. She had never been more wrong about something in her life, and she saw the consequences as her key failure that would destroy her. She had helped to tear her life in shreds before her eyes, unknowingly. It had happened so fast, even though it had taken days. The evidence was overwhelming, and there was little chance to change minds at this point. She felt beaten. Sure, she could try to unearth new clues, and seek out what she knew was the truth. But she couldn't fathom where to start. Every lead was dead, their investigation a wash. Tears formed in her eyes, but she blinked them back. She was resigned to his fate, she thought on it with a sort of hollow acceptance. There was nothing she could do, for him, or for herself. She was lost.
She slowed her breathing as much as possible, in and out, trying to soothe herself with clean, slow breaths. It didn't help, and she wasn't surprised. She saw her shoes, only noticing somewhere subconsciously that they belonged to her, that she had a physical body. At the current moment, it was hard for her to comprehend anything expect pain, loss, and the numbness that was taking control of her body. Her muscles were frozen, somewhere between being relaxed and readying herself to run. It would have ached dearly, if she had been concentrating on it. But her emotions were flying too far out of control for her to notice. The only way she could hold them inside her was to stay still. Her hands were folded in her lap; her eyes were trained on the seats in front of her. She was unmoving, as if she could become part of the furniture. Maybe if she tried hard enough, she could just erase herself from being, right then and there.
If there was anything she was sure of, Teresa Lisbon did not want to live without Patrick Jane. The same Patrick Jane who had just been sentenced to death.
You should have known,
with all the things I crowded in your mind,
I'd leave you a mess.
-The Narrative (The Moment That It Stops)
Days passed. Weeks passed. A month, two months, almost three came and went before she came to visit. Lisbon thought her feelings of rawness and vulnerability would decrease over time, but her wounds remained the same. Her wounds were as fresh as ever. She thought she would miss him less over time, but she only missed him more. Patrick Jane had been such a staple of her life for so many years, and now she was living without his presence. She could hardly eat, she slept even less than she ate, and she couldn't even work. She had been given two months mandatory leave after a psychiatrist had deemed her unfit for work. So she stayed in her apartment, hardly ever leaving. What was the point? She had nothing to do, nowhere to go. She hadn't even shot her gun in weeks.
Still, eventually she found herself on one side of a glass window, staring into the soft lines of a face she'd grown fond of. At the sight of him, her eyes began to water, and her hand moved towards the glass between them. She thought better of it halfway, and retracted her hand. She longed to tough him, to hold his hand, and to hold him, or have him hold her. But there was at least an inch of glass separating them. She saw his eyes follow her hand, but he was too kind, or maybe just too tired to point it out. If anything, she wished he had made a sly remark. He looked sad, and she saw her own thoughts reflected in his face. Or was that just her reflection in the glass?
His eyes looked straight into hers, and his eyes squinted a bit, as if he was trying to feel her out. She glanced away and picked up the phone before he could get too close of a look. There was plenty of time for that later, as she wasn't sure she could hold it together through her entire visit. He mirrored her, and picked up his phone, trying to smile a bit.
"You came." Jane's voice shook, though it was obvious he was trying to steady it. The worry showed in his face, the worry that she would never come. The past weeks had been terrible. He couldn't help thinking that a visit or two from Lisbon would have helped him through it, but he understood why she hadn't come. He felt her pain, or something akin to it. His best friend was slowly slipping away from him. He could see the raw emotions on her face, her suffering. Her hair was down, but not styled. Her gray blouse was rumpled, as if she had slept in it. He felt responsible, but there was nothing he could do about it now, besides reassure her. But how could he reassure her of something he wasn't sure of himself? He had never been more scared in his life. He was scared of death, now that he realized what it meant. It meant leaving her, and now he could feel how badly that would affect her. He could see how much of a toll it had already taken on her, and though he didn't understand why she was upset over him, he felt gratitude for her friendship and her worry.
"Of course I came, Jane," she began, tears welling up in her eyes. They came too fast and too hot, she couldn't control them. Soon, she was sniffling and wiping her eyes with her arm. His face broke, and his eyes looked lost. It was one thing to read her face, another to see her cry. His hand moved to the glass, fingers pressing against, as if he could move his hand through the glass to steady her shaking hand. He wanted nothing more than to hold her and stroke her hair, and tell her everything would be okay, even though they both knew that wasn't the truth.
"Lisbon, Lisbon, shhh…" he tried to convey comfort through his voice. But it was hard through a phone, and a sheet of glass. "Lisbon, please, don't cry." Her tears only came faster. They were silent, but streaming. He dropped his voice, and tried again, his tone speaking volumes of sadness. "Teresa, listen to me. You are the most important person in my life, and my best friend. I am so sorry for everything I put you through, and everything I'm still putting you through. You are an angel, Teresa, an angel, for coming, and for not hating me. Please, please, please don't cry for me. I don't deserve it, and I don't deserve all you've done for me." He finished, looking at his hands. When he looked up at her, she gave a weak smile.
"It's Patrick, Teresa," he said softly. "You might as well start calling me that now; it's not going to change my fate either way."
"Patrick…" she took a deep breath to steady herself, and wiped her eyes one last time. "I don't know how to function anymore. I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't work…" her body started shaking again. He could tell how scared she was, for him, and for herself. It was touching, but her fear automatically made him afraid too. If the big bad Teresa Lisbon couldn't handle this, how could he? His already wavering resolve began to crumble. The guard tapped him on the shoulder. Just two more minutes? He mouthed. The guard shook his head. Patrick began to speak very rapidly.
"Listen to me Teresa, you need to sleep. Go get pizza with Grace, or someone. Then go home, take a nice bath, and get some sleep. I promise you, I will still be here next week." The guard grabbed his arm and picked him up out of the seat. "Teresa, please come back soon, I need you-" and the phone was wrenched out of his hand. As he was forced out of the visiting room, his head turned back to see her, phone still in hand. She was no longer crying, but it was worse. He could see the depression setting into her face. He could see the lost, hollow look in her eyes, and the slack of her cheek muscles. He tried and failed to smile at her, one last time, and was pushed beyond the door. Patrick could only think that it was all his fault, her pain was his fault. His guilt began to eat at him, and his self-pitying and self-loathing half took him over. When he got back to his cell, he cried for himself. He cried for her. He cried himself sore, till he coughed and sputtered. He cried himself to sleep, something he hadn't done since the death of his wife and child.
And I seen the sun up ahead
at the county line bridge
sayin' all there's good and nothingness is dead.
We'll run until she's out of breath,
she ran until there's nothin' left
She hit the end-it's just her window ledge.
-The Wallflowers (One Headlight)
Lisbon was near unable to function. She never left her house. She didn't drink coffee, didn't eat, and slept only when exhaustion claimed her body for its own. She was already petite, but had easily lost fifteen or twenty pounds in the past couple months. It had been weeks since she had visited Jane. She had been a total of three times, crying more and more during each visit. She saw the sadness grow on his face, and knew it was her fault. She didn't want him to be sad, but she couldn't stop herself. She spiraled downwards every day, sometimes lacking the energy and courage to get out of bed. Though she only wanted to see Patrick, she couldn't bring herself to go again. She longed to see those deep eyes, set above the soft lips, the ones that moved to reassure her gently. She appreciated his lies. They both knew things would not be okay, but Teresa had been transformed. She was no longer a realist, she wanted the lies. Her ordeals had changed her into someone she didn't know. When she looked in the mirror she didn't know who stared back at her. She couldn't see herself through the messy waves of brown hair, the pale, gaunt, sunken cheekbones. Her eyes were not her own, they were glazed and glassy from crying and staring.
What kind of a god would take him away from her? Why had he forsaken her? She had questioned him in prayer many times in the past months, and eventually she stopped wearing her cross. It was set in her jewelry box, with her other few pieces. She had torn it off in a strange fit of anger that had come over her one night. It had been short lived, and she followed that with a long bout of crying, wishing for someone to hold her. God, her mother, Patrick Jane, anyone. But no one was there. Lisbon pushed people away, never let someone inside. And she paid for it now, when she needed someone. She had renounced her realism, her courage, her self-worth, and her religion. Her world was being shattered around her, and she let the pieces fall where they may. To pick them up would only cause more pain, pain she wasn't sure she could bear.
Lisbon had been debating for a while. She thought over scenarios in her head, scenarios that would help her out of her misery. She had never been a fan of pain, so she favored an instantaneous death. She lay on her couch, thinking it out, one hand on her forehead. She had been wearing the same white t-shirt and plaid pajama pants for two days now, not caring to wash them. She noticed this now, but in the face of her other ideas, pushed the unimportant thought aside. Her gun lay on the coffee table. Teresa swung her feet down to meet the floor, and her head spun. Not eating or drinking had its consequences, she knew. She just stared at her handgun, the one that she carried most times. It wasn't her on-duty weapon, but it had saved her life many a time before. Could it take her life now? Lisbon took the gun in her hand and took the safety off. She held it loosely, finger not on the trigger. She placed it against the side of her head, feeling the cool metal of the barrel soothe her aching temple. Her hair fell around the gun almost artistically, and she closed her eyes. She sat like that for a while, thinking of her pain. It consumed her. She couldn't live with this idea, and she couldn't live without him. Anything was preferable. She couldn't even bring herself to go see him, when she knew he wanted to see her desperately.
Each time she left, he pleaded with her to come back, made her promise he'd see her again, reminded her that he'd be there still. But it wasn't him she was worried about. She knew he'd be there. But she hadn't been for a while. Teresa Lisbon was gone, replaced by the shell of a woman who had once cared, but couldn't anymore. She had no regard for her life, and fell deeper into her hate every day. It was hard to look at her reflection in the mirror. She couldn't see herself anymore. She would stare, until she couldn't see anything anymore. She knew she was being terribly selfish, and hated herself all the more for it. She couldn't help those who helped her. Even now, when his only wish was to see her, she couldn't bring herself to go. In one fell swoop of self-loathing, Teresa Lisbon put the barrel of the gun in her mouth, bit down, and pulled the trigger.
It was instantaneous.
She didn't even have time to wonder what they'd think when they found her.
This could be the end of everything.
So why don't we go
somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know...
-Keane (Somewhere Only We Know)
Van Pelt, Rigsby, and Cho arrived on the scene even though it wasn't their case. Van Pelt got there first. When she saw Lisbon's body, she collapsed in tears where she stood. Her frame racked with sobs as she stared at her dead boss's body. Her friend's body. She reached out, from far away, as if to bring Lisbon back, even though she knew she couldn't. Nothing the team outside told her could have prepared her for this. She thought she could take it. She was a good cop, she wasn't squeamish. But nothing can prepare you for the death of someone you care about.
Rigsby didn't make it to the bathroom to throw up. He retched in the hallway until his throat was raw, and his stomach was dry. He continued to dry-heave for a while, eyes stinging with the stench of his own vomit. But he didn't care. None of it mattered. His team, the team that meant everything to him, his family, was being torn apart before his eyes. Jane was one thing. That was not expected, but it had been a possibility. They knew things hadn't looked good for Jane. But Lisbon's suicide was another matter entirely. She had shut herself off from the world. Rigsby silently wished she had talked to him, to anyone. Maybe they could have helped her. He thought that he could be strong here, but he was wrong.
Cho refused to even enter the room, but instead stood outside the house. A single tear rolled down his cheek. They had all loved Teresa, tried to be there for her. But it was too late, and her weakness had gotten the best of her. The usually stoic agent hung his head, sadness taking over his mind and body. Lisbon wasn't the type to commit suicide, she was strong, a fighter. Then Cho realized how much she must have cared about Jane, to be driven to these lengths.
The next day, they all went to tell Jane together.
The car ride was silent. Grace's face was pale, sitting in the back of the van. She had used up all her tears and now just felt sick to her stomach. They had lost two members of their team in a matter of months. Well, one, technically, but death row was as good as gone. She felt the acid in her stomach bubbling up again, and steadied herself with a few deep breaths. Rigsby sat in the passenger seat, his face a few shades whiter than Grace's, if possible. His stomach too, was empty, unable to eat while he tried to accept the finality of their loss. Cho was able to drive, holding all his feelings inside, not allowing them to take over any more than they already had. Truth was, if she had been murdered, they would have been angry and sad, but able to cope and seek justice. But Lisbon's suicide left them with loose ends. It left them wondering what, if anything, they could have done.
If it was possible, the walk inside was quieter. The agents, now more a family than a team, went as if by routine. Cho led, with Rigsby lagging slightly behind, and Grace taking up the rear. They were no longer a team, now missing two members, but something tighter, bound by their loss. They had no idea how to tell the former consultant. Secretly, each hoped one of the other two would take initiative and break the news. But in the back of their minds, each knew they couldn't conceal the truth on their faces. Murder has consequences. Murder is betrayal, and leaves traces of anger. Suicide leaves sadness, and confusion. Patrick would be able to see it in Grace's eyes, in Cho's tired head, and in Rigsby's shaking, fidgeting hands.
Soon enough, they sat behind a glass window. Patrick sat on the other side, looking at the three, slightly confused, and seemingly exhausted. The trio looked at each other silently, before Grace sat down in the chair, and grabbed the black telephone. She was scared that if she didn't take it now, her hands would refuse to take it later. Grace put the phone tentatively to her ear. Her eyes made a slow turn upward, from the table to Jane's face. His expression was sinking with every second he watched them. Rigsby put a comforting hand on Grace's shoulder, as if to steady her. She felt light, faint. She was about to break it to a condemned man that his best friend, their boss, someone they all loved…was dead. Teresa Lisbon was dead by her own hands, and nothing they could say or do would change that fact.
"Jane…" Grace began, but she couldn't hold it in any longer. Her breaths became shallow, and she choked up, eyes squinting and closing. They scrunched together in pain. Even when she thought her eyes couldn't shed any more tears, they began to water. Rigsby's hand made small circles on her back. Jane's eyes were wide and sad, anticipating the next words. Grace caught her breath slowly.
"Where's Lisbon? Where is she, is she okay?" He asked the team. Grace's eyes started streaming with tears again, and she looked at her friends for support. Cho gingerly took the phone out of her hand and set it against his ear.
"She was found last night, Jane, in her apartment. She…took her own life." Cho grimaced, and shakily ran a hand through his hair. He put a hand to his forehead; he could feel the beginning of a fever.
Patrick's heart began to hammer, and he swayed forward and back, forward and back, as if rocking himself. The tears came slowly, and then faster. He crossed his arms and held his sides, trying to keep himself from falling apart. Cho could hear his sobs through the phone. They sounded pathetic and distraught. Jane was behind glass. He was separated from them, left to console himself. He wished for something he did not desire often, the touch of human hands, arms to hold him in a time of need. One of his hands made its way to the table in front of him, steadying his body. He looked up, chest still heaving, eyes still running.
"She's gone…she's gone…" His eyes closed again. But no matter how hard he shut them, he could not shut away the world. He looked up at them again, sadness etched in every line of his face. He had only ever felt pain like this once before, many years ago. But with the death of his wife and child came a thirst for revenge, a life purpose. Out of this came only sorrow. There was no one to blame, no one to seek revenge on, no one he could turn to for reasons. A thought that threatened to take over was that it was his fault. It was his fault. He knew. His actions and their consequences had tapped her out. He had indirectly been the cause for the suicide of his best friend, the first person he had let in again. He ended up destroying her, and he had loved her. In her he had found hope, support, and a sort of happiness. After all she had done for him, he had been the last straw in her precariously constructed pile of problems. He had pushed her over the edge. At this point, he forgot about his sentence. He forgot that he was condemned to death. Only her life mattered. A life that was gone.
He looked up at them for a while. The corners of his lips trembled. They stayed like that, eyes locked for a while, Grace and Patrick. Kimball and Patrick. Wayne and Patrick. It was as much contact as they could muster under the circumstances. But Patrick let himself be comforted as much as he could, by eyes. The soft browns and greens looked back at him with a melancholy like his own. Minutes passed, and he realized his hands were steadying. He resigned himself to depression, a sinking feeling in his chest, and heaviness in his head. It was like falling, but easier. He didn't have to move, and yet he was collapsing into himself.
"I never got to say goodbye." His last words to them were quiet, barely audible, yet they could all understand him, through the glass. Each of the other three had been thinking the same exact thing. No one's last words with Lisbon had been unstrained or loving. They had all advised her to seek help, seek support, get some sleep, and eat some food. But what would love have done? They all wondered separately, silently, until the guard came to retrieve Patrick. He looked at them the entire time he was being led backwards. He kept eye contact until it was possible. Grace tried to smile at him, tried to be reassuring. She only looked scared.
There was no viewing for Teresa Lisbon.
The morning of the funeral, Van Pelt, Cho, and Rigsby were contacted. Patrick Jane had been found dead in his cell. There was no apparent cause of death; he had just drifted off in his sleep. The coroner searched for a cause, to no avail.
But what does a broken heart look like on the outside?
Part Five (Epilogue)
All you have to do is close your eyes
and just reach out your hand, and touch me.
Hold me close, don't ever let me go.
-Extreme (More Than Words)
Thirteen years later found the Cho's and Rigsby's at a gravesite, sighing sadly in the warm wind. Age had weathered their faces, but they still stood tall. Grace and Wayne each clasped the hand of a child, both about nine or ten years old. The boy and girl stood between the pair, dressed in their Sunday best. Kimball stood to Wayne's side, clasping the hand of his wife. They came here every year on this day, rain or shine, without fail. Sometimes they came more frequently, together or separately. Grace had quit being an agent, once she became a mother. Cho had become the special agent in charge at the CBI headquarters, taking LaRoche's job. Wayne worked freelance now, as somewhat of a private investigator. Kimball had been married for about six years now, settling down quietly. They weren't thinking about kids. Grace and Wayne had married approximately two years after the deaths of Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon. Kimball was Wayne's best man. Grace didn't have a maid of honor, and she cried her eyes out after the pictures of the wedding party were taken. She had to have her makeup redone. It was still hard, sometimes. Wayne and Grace were happy, and had two beautiful children, but every now and then, the sadness crept in again to take them by surprise.
Grace felt a tug on her hand, and looked down into her daughter's eyes.
"Mommy…can you tell us about Agent Lisbon again?" The girl asked her mother softly. Grace's eyes glistened with tears, and knelt down in front of Teresa's tombstone.
"Agent Lisbon" she began, shakily, steadying as she went, "was a beautiful woman, and a wonderful agent. She was dedicated, caring, and we all loved her very much. But she didn't understand how much she was needed here, so she left us forever. This is why you must always understand that your dad and I love you so much. Your life is precious, and don't ever think you should give it up, for any reason. There are people that care about you, and will always love you. Agent Lisbon's first name was Teresa, just like yours. I wish she had been here to see you grow up and grow strong." At this, she couldn't go on any longer.
"And Patrick," she added, to the boy who had just dropped his father's hand, "you would have loved Mr. Jane, who had your name. He was so full of life, and exciting. I remember when he crashed a man's car, just so he could have a car salesman lead him to the murder weapon." She wiped her shimmering eyes, but smiled fondly.
"Yeah, I remember the car rolled off the cliff." Agent Cho gave a small chuckle. Age had lightened his demeanor, at least when he was around family and old friends.
"You guys remember Lisbon on the phone when she found out? She was so mad…You could always tell, because of the sheep dip…" He shook his head, his smile trying its best not to be sad.
The three former team members shared a smile. Cho's wife held onto his arm a little tighter, and put a hand on his back. They made some small talk, asking the kids about school, asking Cho about the CBI. The group stood there for a while, chatting amiably, looking peacefully at the two tombstones, side by side. Not far away, just in the next row, were the graves of Charlotte and Angela. How fitting, for Patrick to be surrounded by everyone he had loved. His story didn't seem so sad, said that way, without the background information. But then again, anything out of context loses its meaning. Patrick Jane had died of a twice-broken heart, and Lisbon had taken her own life for similar reasons. The only thing to do now was remember them, and keep visiting each year.
They lingered there for an hour usually, sometimes more, sometimes less. Usually Patrick or Teresa would ask for stories again, of their namesakes. Grace, Wayne, and sometimes Kimball, were always happy to oblige. They had some fun stories to tell, some action-packed, some suspenseful. But each always had the same message. You are loved, as they were. Don't forget. Don't forget, just as we will never forget Teresa Lisbon and Patrick Jane.
Wonderwall – Oasis
Misery – Maroon 5
Holly Wood Died – Yellowcard
Strange – Tokio Hotel ft. Kerli
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
Like You – Evanescence
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
Down On My Head – Yellowcard
My Boy Builds Coffins – Florence& the Machine
Vindicated – Dashboard Confessional
Breakeven – The Script
Words, Hands, Hearts – Yellowcard
The Moment That It Stops – The Narrative
Curl Up and Die – Relient K
Waiting Room – The Narrative
The Poison – All-American Rejects
Brick By Boring Brick – Paramore
More Than Words – Extreme