Bringing Down the Wall: (second)Pink Tops Tag

DISCLAIMER: The Mentalist does not belong to me. It is the creation of Bruno Heller. I'm writing this fiction to express my love for the series and maybe vent a little.

Jane had seen Susan Darcy walk out of Lisbon's office. It had been impossible to miss her as she'd greeted him on her way out. Lisbon hadn't told him what the FBI Agent had wanted and Jane hadn't asked.

In the wake of Red John's re-emergence a week prior, he and Lisbon had been avoiding each other, avoiding being seen together.

Patrick didn't care what people said about him, but Lisbon's character had to be kept safe, not tainted with his even by association. He had plenty to feel guilty for without having people think his boss had been his accomplice in a situation she'd only known about after the fact, and only because he'd confided in her. So he made sure the newly prying eyes saw nothing that might feed their suspicions any further.

But as its been a few days since Darcy, or any other detectives, intel, reporters, or bureaucrats had invaded their work home, it seemed that the storm might have finally passed.

Perhaps this was why, after their last case, Lisbon thought Jane would be willing to broach the elephant in the room.

"It's time."

She couldn't have been more wrong.

Notwithstanding his concern for Lisbon's reputation, Jane had other reasons to keep him from discussing the Red John matter with her. And for once, personal revenge was far down the list.

Listening to Lisbon type away at the case's report, it occurred to Patrick that being in her office wasn't exactly the ideal method to avoid a discussion with the woman. But he missed her. Now that the coast seemed clear, Jane wouldn't stay away from his preferred place on their white couch.

Hopefully Lisbon took his disappearing act earlier as a hint that he didn't want to talk. And in case she hadn't, Jane was pretending to be asleep, hoping she'd leave well enough alone.

Why should they talk when he knew exactly what she'd say? That Jane couldn't very well expect to get away with killing Red John a second time. Even if the double jeopardy rule applied to him (and it didn't because he'd been accused of killing Carter, not Red John), there were many people who were angry he'd gotten away with murder. They'd make sure it didn't happen again.

Jane knew this, and he knew Lisbon knew this. She'd use it in her argument on how he shouldn't be obsessed with killing Red John.

Would she believe him if he told her he wasn't even sure he wanted revenge anymore? That he'd been rethinking it ever since he realized he'd mistakenly shot Timothy Carter?

His getting Panser killed certainly wouldn't help him plead his case to Lisbon. Jane supposed he could come clean about how he honestly hadn't planned on getting Red John to kill the man. He could admit that it had been a spur of the moment decision he'd made because he couldn't the bear the thought of another serial killer going free. He could share that, had he seen any other option, he would have taken it.

Jane could tell Lisbon about how he'd actually gotten used to sleeping at night, to feeling a little better about himself, and that he hadn't wanted to ruin that. It wasn't like he enjoyed the sleepless nights. He could probably even divulge his reversion, and the fact that his conscience was mostly responsible for it after Panser's death.

It wasn't that Jane regretted the man dying, rather, Jane feared what else he might do that he would not regret.

Jane could tell Lisbon all of this, and he would, except he doubted Lisbon would believe him. He was as sure of that as he was that she wouldn't appreciate the genius of his impromptu plan to get rid of one serial killer while bringing the other back into the open.

Lisbon wouldn't believe him, because she didn't think he was a good person.

She'd practically said as much when he asked her not be offended over being a terrible liar, that good honest people always were.

"Which makes you what?" she'd asked.

It was a good question.

What am I? What am I becoming?

Jane had no idea. But he wasn't sure it was anything good, anything Saint Teresa would want to be associated with.

Lying on the couch, facing her, Jane dared to open his eyes to thin slits. He watched as every once in a while Lisbon harrumphed over a typo or stretched to relieve her aching shoulders.

He watched, and he wondered at the wonder that was his boss, his partner.

His friend.

Lisbon's desk phone rang. From her spiel that the CBI was not going to use or even analyze any of the DNA taken from the crime scene, that it had just been done as a ruse to lure out the real killer, Jane quickly surmised that she was talking to a lawyer of one of the inhabitants of San Felix Island. Weeks later and she was still getting calls from representatives of the self-conscious and the paranoid. Jane had been more right than he thought when he'd first said that most people on the island were running from something.

As he listened to Lisbon's pacifying, assuring tone, Jane closed his eyes fully and remembered how it had felt when, on the boat back to the mainland, he had fallen asleep next to her. His face tingled with the memory of waking up with his cheek resting on her shoulder, warm from its contact with her silky blouse, and the skin underneath it. He breathed in her presence now, and recalled the smell of her fluttering hair invading his senses.

He didn't know why she allowed that to didn't know why she was continuing to allow him liberties he'd been thirsting for practically since meeting her.

He had always wanted to be her friend. He still couldn't believe it had happened. He was in awe over the fact that even after the Carter fiasco, not only was she still working with him, she seemed to enjoy his presence. Was it that she finally realized how much he wanted her, how much he needed her?

It was a possibility, especially considering how Lisbon always put other people's needs above her own.

But she still didn't trust him, not a hundred percent, anyway. Jane was starting to think that was a good thing. Because as far as he was willing to go to earn her trust, he doubted he'd ever put her needs before his wasn't that he didn't want to. Jane just knew old habits were hard to break.

And he had always been a selfish bastard.

It was another reason why he didn't want to talk to her about Red John.

Because as happy as he had been living out of the killer's shadow, Jane couldn't deny the satisfaction he'd felt when he succeeded in luring him out.

Everything comes with a price, Jane knew this. He was willing to give up sleeping at night to settle his score with Red John.

But giving Lisbon up wasn't an option anymore. Jane wasn't sure it ever was.

Yes, he was a selfish bastard, that probably wasn't ever going to change. But Jane didn't want to be a cold one anymore. Not after he'd basked in Lisbon. Not after he'd enjoyed the privilege of having her smile warm his soul, at a time when anyone else would have frozen him out.

Somehow he'd fallen under the umbrella of people she deemed her own, her family. His terror that one day she'd decide he was more trouble than he was worth was slowly ebbing away, leaving in its wake a sense of bewilderment and fear, like it was too good to be true.

It probably was.

Someday he'd push her over the edge, do something stupid, probably over Red John, that would make Lisbon realize she should have washed her hands of him long ago.

Jane was 89.5 percent sure of it.

But that still left 10.5 percent that one day he'll actually deserve her understanding, deserve 100% of her trust.

It was a meager percent, foolish to bet on. But like putting a flower in the ocean, it gave him comfort. It was irrational comfort no doubt, but comfort nonetheless.

He needed her. Every smile, every breath... she had absorbed him, given him a reason to live, and he was terrified she'd one day let him go...


Startled by the closeness of her voice, Jane's eyes flew open.

Lisbon was standing right over where he lay prone on her couch. She recoiled slightly in alarm and astonishment at the moisture in Jane's eyes that he hadn't realized had welled.

Blinked away his emotions, Jane watched as Lisbon gathered herself, swallowing in concern for him.

And he knew.

She'd come for their talk.

Jane made his expression carefully neutral even as he found himself begging inwardly.

Don't do this...

They'd been so was like living in a safe, love filled bubble. Didn't she feel it too?

Not now..

He knew it would go to hell eventually, why was she in a hurry to end it?

Not yet...

Didn't she realize it could destroy him?

Please don't do this!

With bated breath Jane watched Lisbon contemplate him carefully before she finally spoke.

"Bad dream? She asked sympathetically.

Jane shut his eyes to hide his relief.

"No," he said hoarsely, opening his lids once more to stare deep into her green orbs. He cleared his throat before continuing, "a very good one."

He saw that his answer confused her.

"I'm sorry I woke you then," she replied awkwardly

Without thinking, Jane raised a hand to clasp her nearest one.

"You didn't."

Author's note:

Apparently, after ranting to the moon about Blinking Red Light and how much I hate what's going on in the show, I was finally able to make some sense of it. At least, this is the (optimistic) version I'm going with until the show decides to throw in a wrench and sends me into another rambling fury. Reviews?

BTW I reformatted the chapter a bit so I reuploaded it. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks to MerriWillow and All-I-Need for pointing out some mistakes..