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Prompt #31: Backhand - "You'd make a fine shill, Lisbon."

Words: 740

"Don't move!"

Lisbon froze faster than a wax statue in the Arctic, her hand hovering over her holster. Her gun might as well have been across the room under containment for all the good it did.

The killer, Harry Turnbolt, pressed the muzzle of his gun against Jane's throat as he held the consultant in front of him like a shield. Turnbolt was an aide to the Governor who had murdered an intern during a night of passion, then tried to frame the Governor for it. Cornered by SacPD and the CBI, he'd taken Jane hostage and demanded a car to the airport and a plane out of the country.

Biting her lip, Lisbon quickly weighed her options. She couldn't go for her gun without getting Jane killed. She knew stalling wasn't an option; Turnbolt looked ready to blow off Jane's head at the slightest provocation.

Which left her plan. It was a sound plan, but its execution would depend heavily on luck, talent, and not a little trickery on her part. In short, it was a Jane plan, Lisbon-style.

Keeping her empty hands open and palm-up, Lisbon cleared her throat. "Hey, Harry. You have a better plan than just shooting your way past a streetload of cops, right?" she asked matter-of-factly.

"Shut up!" screeched Turnbolt, pressing the gun tighter against Jane's head. "I've got him!"

"Go ahead. Take him." Both men's eyes went wide at her blasé tone. "He's more trouble than you can imagine."

"Lisbon?" Jane squeaked.

"I'll kill him!"

"In fact, I've wanted to shoot him a couple times myself," Lisbon admitted. "But there's too much paperwork." She pointed her finger at Turnbolt. "But if you do it, it's less work for me."

"I'll do it!" Turnbolt promised. "I swear it! I'll blow his brains out!"

"Do it, if you've got the guts to face what's coming." She jerked her head towards the window and the blazing white spotlight. "See that? The bright light? You know what's out there." Her eyes met Turnbolt's. "You know they're coming."

There was a flurry of motion outside the building. Turnbolt flinched, obviously torn between keeping his eyes on Lisbon or checking on the CBI's movements. Lisbon didn't look away. "They won't hesitate to shoot you," she repeated. "They're coming for you." She tilted her head to the side to check over his shoulder. "Probably through that door back there."

Turnbolt couldn't help glancing back. As soon as his eyes left her, Lisbon pulled her gun out of her holster and squeezed off a shot just as Jane ducked out of the way. Her bullet hit Turnbolt square in the shoulder, making him scream as he fell to the floor.

She noted Jane booking it across the room as she moved towards the window. "Clear!" she yelled.

"You knew, right?"

She turned back to Jane. "Pardon?"

That insufferable grin was back. "You knew Turnbolt was a squirrelly OCD-driven oaf who would have to make sure there was no door behind him. You had to have known."

"Didn't you?" Lisbon asked.

"Of course, but I had a screaming madman and a gun in my ear. I couldn't really use that information." The smile faltered when Lisbon didn't confirm or deny her knowledge. "Wait. You...you knew he'd look, right? You didn't risk my life on something you weren't absolutely sure would happen, right?"

A secret smile slowly pulled Lisbon's lips back. "You tell me. You're the mentalist." She turned towards where Rigsby and Cho were talking to Bertram and made to leave.

"Oh, bravo, Lisbon." Jane's voice held a shred of respect and surprise that had her looking back, her smile turned smug. "You have become a fine practitioner of the con," Jane added. "Nice to see you've learned some things in the course of our relationship together."

Lisbon rolled her eyes. Even his compliments had a way of making me think he's insulting me. "Can't you just thank me for saving your life like a normal person, just once?"

"Meeeeh." His posture was lax and nonchalant, but the gratitude in his eyes spoke volumes. Thank you, Lisbon, for saving my life. Again.

She smiled. "You're welcome."

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