Authors note: Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed. It was a tough one to write and darker than I expected. I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully my next story will be fluffier.
Disclaimer: I don't own it but the mistakes are mine. I was incredibly tired writing this so there may be a lot.
Slight season 4 spoilers
"We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking."
Lisbon woke up to the sound of incessant beeping. Her mind was foggy with tiredness and the all too familiar drugs. The white room smelled of too many flowers, the overpowering stench stuck to her nose and tickled the back of her throat. Lisbon's drug haze started to lift but she tried to hold onto its warm embrace for as long as she could.
Finally unable to put it off, she looked around at her surroundings. Wide eyed, she surveyed yet another hospital room. She understood the smell now, the room was covered in pictures, cards and large bouquets of flowers. It looked like a shrine to the dead, though judging by the empty bed across from her perhaps it was. Lisbon suppressed a shudder at the thought.
A doctor stood just outside her door reading a file. How had she come to be here? What the hell happened to her? and more importantly did they get Johnston or did she royally fuck up?
The doctor finally looked up and saw her watching him. He gave her a one moment sign before scribbling something down. Well at least she would get the answer to her first two questions.
Lisbon sized him up as he walked in. He was tall, good looking and self assured, her type normally but she just couldn't generate the energy to care.
"Hello, Miss Lisbon how are you? I'm Dr. Connelly." he smiled reassuringly at her before glancing at her chart.
"It's Agent and I'm feeling sore and well ...confused. What the hell happened?" her voice lacked any strength and cracked slightly. The doctor passed her some water and she drank it greedily.
"How was I shot?" she continued her voice more assured.
"Shot?" he looked perplexed, "you weren't shot."
"Really? it feels like the last couple times" she smirked "so then if I wasn't shot why am I here?" she asked bewildered.
"You had a bad infection Agent, a pustule sack had formed behind your wound scar from not being cleaned properly, that combined with your failure to take your prescribed medication" he shot her a judgemental look. Hmm she liked it, she would have to master that one herself.
"Ok, so why am I here if it was just an infection", she had far better things to be doing than lying around, no matter how good the view was.
The doctor looked exasperated. "Miss Lisbon, it was not just an infection, when you hit your side the sack ruptured infecting your blood. Septicaemia can kill quickly, had the the sac burst and not ruptured you could be dead. Had it gone on ignored and untreated, you could have died" He met her gaze to emphasise his words.
Lisbon dropped her eyes unable to meet his. "I didn't realise..."
"I'm not sure I believe that" he continued " Your scar and the area around it was red and raised, the wound was leaking slightly and your meds were only half taken but the pain pills were all gone" he finished.
"I'm just busy, I figured it would heal eventually" she justified, her face betraying her embarrassment.
"In cases like this agent with repeat hospital visits, being neglectful of basic personal care and recurrently placing yourself in harms way, well it looks suspicious. I'm afraid we have an obligation to inform our psych department." It was his turn to look abashed at her outraged look.
"What? You are not serious?" Lisbon couldn't believe this, maybe Jane was setting her up.
"I'm afraid I am, Miss Lisbon"
"I am not crazy and you cant make me" she was fully enraged now, her and shrinks did not mix.
"I can and I am. I have someone coming down, she specialises in these issues and has a long standing relationship with the police department. It is hospital policy." He regarded her in the same manner in which Cho looked at an uncooperative suspect.
"This is a joke right, your kidding" Lisbon's voice had gotten small. What the hell was going on, it was like she had woken up in an alternative universe.
A tall woman arrived at the door, knocking softly to catch her doctors attention. The doctor introduced the psychiatrist as Mrs Lyndon before leaving as quickly as he could. Lisbon watched him go, he had clearly seen how cops react to these things and was getting the hell outta dodge.
Lisbon turned to the woman, practising the doctors earlier look and throwing in extra contempt for good measure, before moving her head to stare out the window. From what she had seen of the psychiatrist, she was a pretty brunette in her early 40's, with a nice, calm, demeanour. Lisbon automatically wanted to hit her.
She began by asking Lisbon inane questions, while Lisbon in return mumbled her answers. Lisbon knew it was childish but it gave her some satisfaction.
"Miss Lisbon, please this is going no where" Mrs Lyndon finally sighed.
"Agent" Lisbon replied sharply.
"Is that how you define yourself? as an agent and not a person?" Lyndon seemed pleased to get an actual reply.
Lisbon finally looked at the woman long enough to give her a disdainful stare, "I am both."
"Ok, well there is some concern Agent Lisbon, that you may be suicidal, or at least want to hurt yourself, how do you feel about these concerns?" her voice soften as if to lighten the blow while her hand lightly brushed Lisbon's.
Lisbon snapped her hand back from Lyndon's reach. "I feel these concerns are bull shit and this chat is ludicrous."
Mrs Lyndon was quickly losing patience.
"Really agent ludicrous is it? Your child hood history, job stress, the isolated life you lead with no immediate ties to family, the community and no social life whatsoever outside your job is a red flag for depression and poor self image. Add to these, three hospital visits for serious injuries, one due to a blatant disregard for your health, well all this adds up too very concerning behaviour. While I doubt you will see a professional, I feel it will help."
Lyndon handed Lisbon a pamphlet before continuing "while I unfortunately cannot force you to seek help based solely on my impressions, I have put a note in your file, flagging your case and my recommendations should another suspicious incident occur. If it does we will enforce measures..." she warned.
Lisbon wished the woman's head would explode, clearly she was crazy, physician heal thy self and all that she thought.
"Regardless of whether you can keep yourself out of danger or not Agent Lisbon, I do feel that talking to someone would benefit you greatly, you are not alone in this world." She squeezed Lisbon's blanket covered leg before exiting.
Lisbon slumped against her pillow, realising a heavy breath. Jesus this whole situation was messed up. Lisbon reverie was quickly interrupted as Jay stormed into the room.
"Is this what you want Tessie?" he spit out.
"What are you talking about Jay?" She was really feeling her meds and her tiredness had returned.
"To die?" his voice cracked on the small word.
"WHAT?" what the hell had that bitch doctor said to him.
"Your behaviour, the questions she asked, it seems like your trying to kill yourself without having to be the one to pull the trigger." Jay looked so tired and desperate.
"That's bull shit Jay and you know it, I didn't think it was a big deal, just a little infection." Ok she probably should have taken better care of the wound, but it wasn't like she wanted to end up here again.
"Yeah so you say Tessie, but it's one thing after another, God just how many hospital visits in a three month period are you going to think is too many?" Jay repeatedly ran his fingers through his hair. She wanted to pull him to her and hug his hurt away.
"I know its a lot Jay but I swear to you, I'm not trying to hurt myself, the doctor just doesn't realise how time consuming the job is and it was just really shitty luck to get shot twice." She hoped her tone was soothing, the wrong note or inflection and he'd blow like he did when they were kids.
He sat down heavily beside her, leaning in eye to eye "Promise me, cos after Dad..."
A tear slid down his face while her hand crept up to caress his cheek. Green met green, and Lisbon poured everything into her eyes. "I promise."
Jay let out a ragged breath, knowing she would not abuse the honesty between them but still desperate to get to his sister, "It feels like, what I'm trying to say is... you seem to live your whole life as a punishment, you know like a penance for sins you've committed or something."
"That's crazy." Lisbon assured him.
"You seem to have cut yourself off from the best things in life, love, family, friends" he pulled at a thread on her blanket. He was gonna kill the other two for leaving all this to him.
"Jay I like my life, do you feel I failed just cos I didn't marry? Have kids?" his words cut her, she was the strong one, not the one to be pitied.
"No, but you always wanted them and a husband, and I thought you loved this job?" if he thought she was truly happy it might be a different story but she had lost her sparkle and he felt he had to get her to her to think about her life and the choices she had made.
"I do love this job." she replied her voice lacking any conviction, Jesus she really was not up to quibbling semantics.
"Then why don't you want it for Annie? Tommy told me you warned her off." Jay knew using Annie was below the belt but he needed the big guns to win this fight.
He continued after receiving no response "Is this another weird life penalisation, I know your good at this job, great even, but if its no longer making you happy why stay? It's all you do all day all night. You know when you rang me awaiting that committee's decision, you thought you had lost your job and you seemed free almost."
"Jay, I get where you're coming from but..." Lisbon was so tired of arguing.
"No, listen Tess, this job, the hours, the cases, its like you've wrapped yourself in darkness and pain. Why? When is it enough? does almost dying for the third time in a year not say something?" he questioned.
Lisbon wanted to defend herself, her actions, her life but she just couldn't seem to find the words.
Jay saw that he was finally getting through to her.
"Please I'm begging you leave here and come back to your family? I cant watch you slowly waste away like dad did, only his punishment was alcohol but with you its anguish and suffering." Jay leaned in and hugged her tightly, squeezing desperately.
Lisbon tried to hide the pain in her side at the contact. Her arms snaked around him and she relaxed into the embrace. It had a been a long time since someone had really hugged her, God that sounded pathetic, who can't remember their last real hug.
Jays stomach rumbled breaking the silence and the moment. Both siblings laughed at the interruption.
"I'm going to the canteen, you want anything?" Jay asked still smiling.
"Coffee?" Lisbon replied hopefully.
"Decaf" Jay answered sternly.
"Fine" Lisbon huffed, watching her brother practically bounce out of the room at their return to normalcy.
How had she gotten so screwed up. She thought about Annie and her insistence at finding another path. Fifteen years ago she loved this job, but fifteen years ago she had friends and a life. When had she let it slip away.
Teresa sat for a while thinking about her brother, her recent actions, her choices. She couldn't remember the last time she was happy. The last time she did something for herself. Was her brother right?
Jane entered so quietly it took her a few moments to feel his presence. She looked up to see him watching her. She hated that he had seen her so deep in thought, secretly she believed he might be slightly psychic. Nobody's guesses were that good.
"How you doing?" Jane asked almost shyly.
"Fine, what happened with the case?" she answered sharply, she hadn't forgotten about his recent behaviour.
"He confessed if it helps any" His eyes fluttered around the room taking in all the details.
"It does thanks" she watched him looking everywhere but at her. They stayed in silence, no words capable of saying what needed to heal their rift. Jane suddenly moved to go but stopped at the door and turned back.
"I'm sorry Lisbon...Teresa. I never meant for any of this." his voice was void of his usual confidence. "When you come back, no more house calls I promise, hey ill even behave for a few weeks, make sure you are a hundred percent before I start drowning you in paperwork" He smiled at her though it didn't quite reach his eyes.
"If you catch Red John..." she questioned but Jane interrupted her.
"When Lisbon, when I do" he added, conviction peppering his tone.
"Okay when...and if you survive, do you think it will it be enough?" she regarded him intently, her eyes searching his face for any deception, tells and his emotions. He contemplated her question for a moment, she had always appreciated that he never dismissed her and always put thought into his answers. After what had happened recently she couldn't help but think perhaps he was just formulating his lies and half truths.
"No. Ill get my justice but what I did...they died because of me...I have to atone...plus who will help you punish the unjust if I go, think of all the perp's that would get away with their crimes with out me... Why do you ask?" he enquired, his curiosity peaked.
"No real reason, just thinking about life" Lisbon knew he wouldn't be satisfied by her vagueness.
Misreading her concerns, he tried to sooth her "Don't worry Lisbon, you'll be back on you feet soon enough, I know you hate being away from work so I'll even have Rigsby sneak you some files to occupy yourself." he smiled.
Lisbon frowned at his words. She thought back to their first time together in the attic, Jane had called her cold, aloof, said she had no life and she could see it now on his face that he truly believed it. That's why he had connected with her, he saw her as his equal in the fucked up department, two people on a downward spiral because of their pasts.
"Thanks for visiting Jane" she answered coolly, "Ill see you around."
Jane watched her for a second, studying her expressions, concerned by her sudden mood swing. He was about to question her further but was interrupted by Jay's return. Her younger brothers body language was as clear as day and it screamed piss off, Jane for once didn't push it and left.
Jay placed her cup by her and then sat in the rooms only plastic chair. Lisbon stayed with her thoughts for a while, going over everything in her head. She thought over her brothers accusations, his comparisons. Was she like her father? dependant on something? using it to feel better until it used her up? She wanted to save Jane but what if it was her in need of saving.
"Jay" her voice broke through the silence.
Her brother glanced up at her "Hmmm?"
"I'm going to come with you, not for ever mind, on a sabbatical" She watched as his face warmed, a grin spread knocking years from his face.
"Really? That's great but what...what changed your mind?" he was practically jumping gleefully towards her. She shrugged as best she could with the bandages.
"I'm not suicidal but the fact anyone thinks I could be is insane! I love this job I do, but maybe its not enough, I want Annie to have better, so why not me? I help people and I help people but its never enough for me to fill the darkness and I don't think it ever will never be either." She looked towards the window at the clear blue sky. Jay grabbed her hand pulling her back to the room and him.
"Some time off is good, there is a place near me in Chicago, near the kids... Elaine's cousins a real good shrink. I know you don't think you need to, but shit ill go too if it makes you feel better bout it. I'll do anything and the other two well they will want you close too." Jay grinned up into her face a real, genuine, honest smile.
Lisbon looked at her brother, her hand stroking his face. She traced the stress lines that had appeared on his face, took in the dark circles under his eyes. She had caused this, his marriage had broken down and she was what drove him to the edge. For once in her life since she entered the academy she realised she had no idea what was going to happen.
Too much had occurred for her to ignore the cracks in her life any more and time was not on her side. She didn't want to realise in fifteen more years that she had missed out on the life she really wanted or worse continue distractedly through life until a bullet finally hits its target. She could have died, from an infection, one she was aware of and still ignored, she got it it was healthy.
Jay chatted away animatedly about life in Chicago, it seemed fitting to return to the place that had sent her down this path in the first place, to confront her demons where they first took possession. Who knows with out her around Jane might finally have to face his own too, either way she was take it one day at a time and focus on herself for once.