This is my first Mentalist fanfiction. I sincerely hope I have kept Jane and the team in character, although the situation I have placed them in is not pleasant. For now, this is a one shot; however, I don't think I'm finished with this idea.
No real warnings, although I do have some blood, and it's not a happy fic. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and I am not making any money from using them.
"Jane's having a breakdown." Cho's words hold no inflection, no judgment. He is simply reporting the obvious over the phone, relaying the scene before him to Lisbon, who will see soon enough that their fears have been realized. "Here at CBI. Yeah, I'll stay with him." He clips the phone closed, replaces it in its holder, then turns back to Jane.
"You really didn't have to call Lisbon."
"I think I did."
"There's no use bothering everyone over…" The voice fades, stops. Patrick Jane lifts his hands inches before his face and regards them. "My hands are dirty."
"Jane, why don't we go wash up?"
Jane seems to ponder the proposition. "No," he says at last, dropping his hands to his lap. "I don't think I need to do that."
Cho acknowledges the appearance of Rigsby and Van Pelt with a curt nod. He never takes his eyes off Jane.
"Lisbon's on the way," he says quietly. "And an ambulance. We just need to keep him calm."
"He doesn't seem excited," Rigsby observes.
Jane sighs and once again raises his hands. "I can't understand how I got so dirty."
Van Pelt covers her mouth. Slashes on Jane's arms glisten despite the low lighting. The CBI offices are nearly empty this late at night. Only a few are privy to the calm crisis that sits on the dumpy couch and examines mutilated skin. And of those who are witness, only these three are allowed access to the crime scene. All others keep their distance, knowing that there is nothing they can do. Jane is not their problem. Oh, they know his value and all, but the quirks and unstable behavior, well, let Lisbon's team worry about that.
Grace leans to her left, touching Rigsby's arm. They watch with furrowed brows and anxious eyes, devastated and yet not entirely surprised by Jane's breakdown.
"What triggered this?" Grace whispers.
Cho shrugs. "Unknown. He went into the men's room and did this to himself. He came out and walked to his couch like nothing happened."
"Actually, that's not entirely true," Jane says. "I had to draw on the wall—leave the mark, if you will. And I had to use blood. I don't see what the big issue is."
"Couldn't use a sharpie?"
Jane doesn't react to Cho's muted question.
"I don't understand," Van Pelt continues. "He was fine earlier. Just fine."
"Is Jane ever just fine?" Cho replies.
By the time Lisbon arrives Jane has been sitting silent for a long time. Cho leans against a desk closest to him, while Rigsby and Van Pelt sit in chairs pulled away from desks and positioned nearby. They form a circle around their consultant.
Lisbon is tired. Exhausted. Nearly defeated. She looks at Jane and after the initial shock of seeing so much blood on his arms she realizes that his torso is bare. Bloody, half-dressed, incongruous and yet still Jane.
Cho beckons to her. "You probably need to go check out the men's room first."
She starts to question him, wanting more time to gape at Jane, more time to wrap her brain around what she is seeing, but decides to follow Cho's suggestion.
She stands in the doorway of the men's room. She sees the familiar bloody face crudely drawn on the far wall but purposely does not focus on it. Instead she looks down, taking in the scattered spots of blood on the floor. A knife, probably a paring knife although she doesn't move closer to investigate, lies as though thrown under a sink. She sees a pile of clothes draped across one sink. Jane's coat, vest, shirt. Taken off for better access to veins.
She has seen enough for now. And although it would be infinitely easier to just stay in the restroom and try to ignore the blood and clothes and knife, she knows that she must go to him.
He looks up at her as she approaches and actually smiles. Not his gleaming, knockout grin, but a tiny quirk of his lips that only lasts for a moment before disappearing. He can't seem to keep eye contact. She recognizes his avoidance but still pulls up a chair to sit close to him.
She doesn't realize at first that Jane is crying. He isn't obvious about it. He simply begins talking.
"I thought that it was over. I was so sure. He knew things…but I was played. Red John…played me again. And I still haven't…" He gulps over the words, stops, swallows heavily. "I still…" But he can't continue. His lip trembles; his eyes quiver. Lisbon sinks, flounders. How can this be happening? Jane crying? Jane cut, bleeding, half-dressed, and now losing all remaining composure. Where is the ambulance? The paramedics? Psychiatrists?
Don't forget the straightjacket and locked room. Drugs. Shock treatment. Lobotomy.
Lisbon rubs her eyes. She is so tired. She looks to her team, embarrassed for Jane, embarrassed that everyone is witness to his breakdown. She sees that they are uncomfortable, unsure of where to look, how to react to his exposure. He is always closed, protected. They can't fathom this new persona.
"I don't think that I'll ever…" Jane's soaked voice cracks, and his sob breaks her heart. She wants to take him in her arms, bundle his agony into her sympathy. And she nearly gives in to her impulse. But a sudden commotion signals the arrival of the medical team.
She holds them back with a raised hand. Jane's demeanor has just crashed at sight of the newcomers, and he is on his feet, ready to flee.
Or fight. She doesn't know which. She doubts Jane knows either. He stands, swaying, his cheeks wet with tears and smudges of blood. Cho moves closer, creating a barrier between the consultant and the paramedics. Rigsby mirrors his movement. Van Pelt shifts to Lisbon's right.
"Everybody just hold on," Lisbon says quickly. "Jane, it's okay."
But of course it's not okay. Jane's breathing is fast and shallow, and he is visibly shaking. Everything that he projects screams 'danger!'
One of paramedics approaches. "What's his name?" she asks.
"Patrick Jane. He's…had some trouble tonight." Lisbon almost feels guilty talking about Jane. But then, he doesn't seem to care.
"Mr. Jane? I'm Melissa. Is it okay if my partner and I check you out?"
Still standing, Jane folds his arms over his bare chest. "I'd rather you didn't," he says. "Please, just leave me alone."
"Jane, you're bleeding all over. Let the paramedics get you patched up." Just do this. I don't need anymore craziness tonight. This is bad enough. "Come on."
Jane lowers his arms, leaving crimson smears on his torso. He sidles along the couch, looking like he is going to run, and a glance between Lisbon and her team communicates their understanding.
"I think that I made my position clear," Jane says. His eyes dart, and everyone knows he's going to bolt, but he has absolute assurance of his own prowess, and so it is a complete shock to him when his escape is immediately foiled.
Less than one step, and he finds himself on his back on the floor. He gasps from surprise and from the cold tile. His arms are maneuvered over his head. The vulnerability of his position terrifies him, and he struggles.
Cho leans over his head, putting more pressure on Jane's wrists.
"Jane. Just relax."
He pulls harder, finds that his legs are equally confined, and panics.
"Don't keep me here! Lisbon! Please, you've got to let me go! Lisbon!
New tears flush his eyes and his voice is hoarse from sobs that punctuate his pleas. Lisbon kneels next to him.
"Jane, calm down. You're safe here. We're all going to help you."
Melissa the paramedic settles on the other side. "Mr. Jane, have you taken any medications tonight? Any drugs or alcohol?" She pulls out a stethoscope.
"Don't touch me!" Jane twists his body, almost pulling a leg free from Grace's hold. She redoubles her effort with grim force.
The second paramedic has lingered back, but he comes forward now, a syringe in his hand. "Okay, Mr. Jane. We're going to give you something that will make you feel better."
"No! I don't want that! Lisbon, help me! Lisbon!" Jane writhes, frantic.
Lisbon feels herself nearly giving in to Jane's cries. In the midst of his madness he trusts her, begs her to help him.
"Turn him onto his side," the second paramedic says. "This needs to go into his hip."
Lisbon hesitates, sees everyone watching her, and nods. "Okay." She helps shift Jane onto one side, feels the heat of his bare skin, watches as the second paramedic tugs at the waist of the pants. They are too tight; Melissa gestures for everyone to push him back. She loosens Jane's belt, unfastens the button, lowers the zipper. He is once again moved onto his side. His pants are pulled down. He fights against their attempts, but too many hands hold him captive. Lisbon watches, sees the pale skin of Jane's hip, flinches as the needle is forced into the tense muscle, grimaces at Jane's exclamation of pain.
It won't be long now. The first act sees the curtain falling. Jane is already slurring his frantic protests. His chest rises and falls with deepening regularity. Rigsby, Cho, and Van Pelt no longer have to push down on Jane's extremities with the same strength.
But Lisbon continues her vigil even as Jane's words become unintelligible and his eyes blink slowly and heavily. The collapse is still penetrating her consciousness. She is still processing. She wants to cover him with a blanket, cover his skin, both bloody and clear. His pants have been left too low. She wants to pull them back up, close the zipper, fasten the belt. He has had too much taken from without this latest exposure. She wants to fetch his shirt and vest from the restroom, cover the torn arms, give him the appearance of normality.
She shakes her head. It's just a temporary breakdown—a lapse. He just needs some time in the hospital. Like before. A few weeks should fix him up for a couple of years.
Jane, what have you done?
The paramedics move in with rote efficiency. Blood pressure, pulse, respirations—all measured and recorded. Mangled wrists and forearms are blotted and bandaged. An IV is started in the crook of Jane's elbow; the wrist is the preferred spot but too much damage makes the first choice difficult. Jane lies motionless, eyes closed, mouth slightly open.
Lisbon's thoughts are everywhere, so incoherent that she doesn't realize at first that Melissa has asked her a question.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Do you know if Mr. Jane is on any medication?"
Lisbon shakes her head. "No. I mean, I don't think so."
"What about drugs or alcohol?"
"I…no. No drugs. He might have a drink or two, but…"
"What about tonight?"
She shrugs. "I wasn't here. Cho?"
"I didn't observe anything."
"Has he been depressed?"
Lisbon nearly laughs. Do they not realize who this is? Depressed? Well, let's see. Wife and child murdered in part because of his own actions. Years of overwhelming guilt combined with single-minded revenge. So many others killed by Red John, Christina destroyed, the team under constant threat simply because of their proximity to Jane. A kidnapping by Red John wannabes leading to a terrifying confrontation with Red John that she knows entailed more than Jane admitted to. And of course, the latest tragedy—shooting and killing a man who claimed to be Red John—the devil incarnate. But doubting the identity—convincing himself that Red John still lives, that he killed a bad man, but not the demon he seeks.
Depressed? She smiles, hysteria behind her eyes. "Yeah," she sniffs. "He's depressed."
The second paramedic has prepared the gurney. "Let's get him loaded up."
"Jane?" Lisbon peers into his face. "He's awake!"
"We just gave him enough to calm down," Melissa explains. "The docs will want to talk to him."
"Lis…bon. Help…" He can't keep his eyes open.
"Mr. Jane, we're going to just strap this arm down so you don't bend it." As she speaks Melissa secures Jane's IV punctured arm to the gurney. Second paramedic does the same with the other arm but offers no explanation.
"We're going to General," Melissa says over Jane's mumbling and feeble thrashings. "Does he have any family?"
"Yes. Us." Lisbon feels a bit of control returning. "We'll meet you at the hospital," she tells Jane. "Do you understand? We'll be there with you."
He opens his eyes, squints. "Lisbon."
"Jane, do you understand? We're with you."
His mouth twists as he chokes out his words. "I'm…scared."
She bites her lip, hard, and can't speak. She takes his hand and squeezes, then stands back as the gurney is wheeled away.
De Profundis—out of the depths of misery