A/N Well… this is it. The epilogue to Patrick Jane's Daughter. *Sniff *.. it's been one hell of a year writing this and while I'm glad that I finally got it finished.. I'm also really sad that it's over.
A Big MASSIVE thanks to all my readers and reviewers! I wouldn't have finished this without your support. And also a big thanks to DanH2010 for supporting me throughout this entire fic! You guys are all AMAZING!
OOH.. and just quickly! Devil's Cherry… AMA-ZING! Gonna say it has made it to my favourite episode lists. So heartbreaking!
But anyway… enough of my rant… I hope you enjoy this =] xxx
Jane hadn't really been speaking much. Lisbon noticed that he only ever talked when it was just the two of them. She wasn't a hundred per cent why he was avoiding the rest of the team, but she had a nagging suspicion that if he didn't talk about it, then it wasn't happening. And she was quite contented to go along with it.
Tracy and Greer had made the funeral arrangements a month or so before Greer left. Tracy had thought it to be morbid but Greer had insisted that she had her own input… one being that she didn't want anyone, under any circumstances to wear black. They weren't to mourn her… she wanted everyone to celebrate her life.
Jane and Lisbon had flown to Michigan a week earlier, in order to help Tracy with the final arrangements, and the rest of the team had flown in, in time for the funeral.
The funeral was scheduled for midday, in a small garden that Greer had loved. Jane found himself alone in a room with Tracy and Steve, checking over the catering, as Lisbon had gone to pick the team up from the airport.
As they were going over the final arrangements, a florist came in, demanding the attention of one of the three. With one look at his wife, Steve left the two alone.
After a slightly awkward silence, Jane decided to make conversation. The same question had been buzzing around his head for nearly eighteen years, and it was about damn time he got his answers.
He put down his checklist and looked at Tracy.
"Why did you leave?" he asked, slightly startling her.
"You know why I left." She said.
"If I did… then I wouldn't be asking." He stepped closer to her so she had to look at him.
"Look do we have to do this now? I'm burying my daughter in a couple of hours."
Jane looked at her incredulously
"Yes… and so am I!" he shot back.
"You barely even knew her… how can you even say that?"
Jane growled low in his throat.
"Whose fault is that Tracy? Who kept her a secret for seventeen years!?" he cried. "Why would you do that to me? Why did you leave?!" he repeated.
"Because I was scared!" she cried out.
Jane looked at her feeling slightly confused.
"Scared? What? Why were you scared?"
"I was afraid…" she sighed, hesitating. "I was afraid I was never going to see you again."
"So you left?" Jane asked in a slightly harsh tone. "What was the point in that?"
"I… I don't know. I didn't want to be just another one of your clients. Just a quick fix to keep you going. We were young, it was so long ago."
Jane moved away from her, trying to keep the situation delicate. This was the first time in a long time he had seen his Tracy. The one he had respected and loved.
"And when you found out you were pregnant… why not come back then? I had a right to know I had a kid Tracy. You know I did."
Tracy hung her head sadly.
"I know and I'm sorry! But by the time I had worked up enough courage to tell you, you had already left, rejoined the circus… met Angela." She whispered quietly.
"Oh…" Jane didn't know how to react to that. It was hard for him to think if he had stayed in that town for just a few more weeks, Tracy might have found him, but then if he had have stayed… he wouldn't have met his wife. He could feel himself being torn in two different directions.
"Tracy… I'll stay here to bury our daughter… but then I'm leaving. I'll go back to California… and you won't ever have to see me again… if that's what you want. Or… we can stay in touch. You were by best friend before you left…" He walked towards her, clasping her arm gently. "…and I would never have hurt you on purpose."
Tracy then dissolved into a fit of fresh tears.
"God I'm sorry Patrick… I'm so sorry."
Jane enveloped her in a soft hug then, rubbing her awkwardly on the back as she cried into his shoulder.
"She's my baby… she's my little girl!" Tracy sobbed.
"I know… shhh." Jane cooed softly, keeping his own emotions in check. He couldn't really feel anything anymore. He figured it was his body's way of dealing with the stress and the grief.
He couldn't wait for Lisbon to get back.
The funeral itself was beautiful, the gardens had been decorated specially, with every one of Greer's favourite flowers and colours. The coffin was a pristine white, with beautiful carvings in the wood.
Jane was sitting holding Lisbon's hand on one side, and Tracy's on the other. Lisbon had looked at him questioningly, but had kept silent, knowing It wouldn't help anything by asking. The rest of the team were seated behind them, heads bowed in respect.
Jane caught the eyes of Ashley and Olivia and nodded towards them. They were both tear stricken and were clinging on to each other for dear life.
Jane sat there listening to the priest ramble on as if he knew her… who knows… maybe he did. Sitting there, listening to stories about his daughter that he never knew, he began to realise how much he had really missed out on… and that he would never be able to know this side of her. She was gone. He felt himself beginning to panic, the anxiety building up in his chest, crushing him. The only thing that was keeping him from completely flipping out, was the small woman next to him. With a slight squeeze to his hand, he could tell Lisbon had noticed his discomfort, and was doing everything she could in order to help him in that moment. She knew that just by being there with him, she could help keep him sane.
Ashley and Olivia got up together to speak about Greer. They were her oldest friends and felt that they should show their respect by telling a story that would have mortified Greer.
After hearing something about a tractor, a pond and the fire brigade, Jane decided to zone out slightly. He busied himself with looking at Lisbon out of the corner of his eye. She looked positively beautiful, laughing through her tears at the ridiculous story that was being told.
When the time came for Jane to get up and speak, he felt his nerves get the better of him. He sat there frozen, unable to move or think. Lisbon, noticing this, pulled him up and lead him up to the front, not letting him go once they got there.
With an encouraging nod from Lisbon, Jane cleared his throat.
"When my family died… I never thought I would get another chance to love again… let alone be a father… so when Greer showed up… well you could say I was a little skeptical at first." He looked around at the people staring up at him. Everyone was nodding in encouragement, smiling softly through their grief. His show-boy antics getting the better of him, Jane couldn't stop himself saying the next words. "I wasn't the only one who was skeptical though… my dear Teresa here…" he felt Lisbon tense beside him. "Well she actually arrested Greer within an hour of her showing up." He flashed a grin at everyone, cutting the tension in the room, and causing everyone to chuckle slightly. Everyone but Lisbon and Tracy that is. One look at Lisbon's face, and he knew he was going to be in for it later.
"But that's a story for another time... In all seriousness…" he started again. "Although I didn't know Greer for a very long time, she still completely captivated my heart, as I'm sure she did with all of you. It shatters me to know that such a bright life has been extinguished by such a terrible disease." He hung his head. "I know I'll miss her terribly… but I'm also so grateful for the time we did have together. She gave me hope… and I will forever cherish that."
He cleared his throat and nodded towards Greer's loved ones.
"Thank you all for being here today. I know it would have meant the world to Greer." With that he took off back to his seat and the priest took their place at the front.
"And now, I invite the pallbearers to come forth, for Greer's final journey, to her favourite song." He said softly.
Jane and Lisbon rose back to their feet, followed closely by Tracy, Steve, Ashley and Olivia. As they moved towards the coffin, Billy Joel's Piano Man started playing. They all walked slowly through the garden, walking past everyone who had played some part in Greer's life. Jane just kept looking straight ahead, trying to keep his breathing steady. This feeling was all too familiar. Another girl he had grown to love more than anything, murdered by a horrible monster. While he may not be able to avenge this death, he might be able to begin to move on from Angela and Charlotte's death… he might be able to begin to focus on something positive… not indulge in his unhealthy obsession with Red John. Sure if he got the chance, he would still kill the bastard… but he was beginning to feel he needed to focus his energy on more important things. He looked over at Lisbon and saw her standing with her arms folded in on herself, trying not to cry. Like her…
He reached out and pulled her close, kissing her softly on the head. She had loved Greer too. The whole team had.
He looked up to see Grace, Rigsby and Cho walking towards them. Grace immediately walked up to them, with red rimmed eyes and pulled them both into a hug. Rigsby and Cho shook Jane's hand, offering their own condolences in the only way they knew how.
Yep. He thought to himself. These people are a much better way to focus my energy.
The afternoon after the funeral found Lisbon and Jane walking quietly down the beach. Lisbon looked over at Jane to see an expressionless mask placed firmly on his face. He hadn't cried since the day she died… To have all that emotion pent up inside… Lisbon felt he was on the verge of exploding.
"Jane?" she asked tentatively.
He looked at her solemnly, before returning his gaze to the ocean. The clouds hung slightly overcast over the water, with the sun trying to escape forming a haze of watery oranges and yellows.
Trying again, but this time with contact rather than words, Lisbon reached out and softly took his hand.
"She's ok, you know?" Lisbon started.
"Hmmm?" he asked as if he had heard her incorrectly.
"Greer… I know she's being taken care of."
They stopped walking and Jane shook his head slightly, looking sadly into Lisbon's eyes.
"How can you say that? How can you know that Teresa? You have no proof…"
Lisbon brought his hand up to her mouth, kissing the still slightly bruised knuckle.
"Patrick… I know this because I can feel it. It fills me up, guides me… allows me to see things more clearly."
Jane exhaled and looked back out to the sea.
"Jane? Why are you so against believing?"
"I…" he sighed again. "I'm not against anything. I want to believe… but I just can't. I would like to believe that there was a place to go… a place to be… after we die. But to me… it doesn't help. It doesn't bring them back." He cupped the side of her cheek. "To me, heaven is a place that we have fabricated in our minds to let the passing be easier…" he dropped his hand back to his side and hung his head, looking at their still intertwined fingers. "I would like it to be real… so very much."
Lisbon reached out and placed her own hand on his cheek, willing him to look at her.
"Just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it's not there." she said softly. A moment later, she could see the tears coming to his eyes… finally. She really wasn't trying to make him cry… honestly… all she wanted to do was give him a small release… and if crying worked… then so be it.
As soon as it started, Jane couldn't control his emotions any longer. With his eyes leaking at their own accord, he brought his hands up to his face, slightly, but unnecessarily, embarrassed by his momentary weakness… unnecessary because this was Lisbon, and he knew she wouldn't judge him in any way.
Lisbon sat him down on a near-by park bench and held him close, whispering soothing nothings in his ear.
"Shh, it's ok… let it out."
After a few moments, Jane lifted his head, muttering apologies and something about how he was meant to be the strong one. He sat there for a moment, with his eyes closed, breathing softly. The sun crept out from behind one of the clouds, warming his tear stained face. He felt a wash of warmth flow through him, and he knew it had nothing to do with the sun.
He felt her existence fill him up, making his heart beat erratically… but in a good way. He felt a sense of security and love flow through him, and it was then he knew she was ok… and that he was ok too.
He smiled softly, exhaling in relief.
When he finally looked at Lisbon, his eyes turned soft.
"Thank you Teresa… for being here with me."
Lisbon smiled slightly at that.
"Where else would I be?" she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
At that, Jane leant in, kissing her softly at first, before delving in hungrily after a silent consent from Lisbon. When things were starting to get a little too heated for Lisbon liking, she pulled away with a soft sigh.
"Jane stop… we can't do this now… or right here for the matter."
Jane smiled sheepishly at her.
"Ohh… I must have been naughty if you called me by my last name."
Lisbon laughed at that.
"Do you still think I'm pretty?"
At that Lisbon reached out to smack him on the shoulder, but he was too fast. He ran off down the beach with her hot on his heels. She caught up with him and grabbed his hand, turning him to face her.
"I love you Patrick Jane."
"And I love you too Teresa Lisbon." Jane replied softly, pulling her close and kissing her tenderly.
So long as they had each other, they were both going to be ok.
Well that's it! A bit of a cliche ending but hey! who doesn't like a nice hunk of cheese! Please leave me a review on what you think. Sequel? Or not… I have a few ideas but I don't want to start something if nobody's keen! Lol! Thanks for reading anyway! xxxxxxxx