For vanrigsby, who requested The Mentalist, team!fic, "Seemingly Innocent Enough." This is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it.

Seemingly Innocent Enough


The day started off seemingly innocent enough.

Bright, sunny, cheerful.

No murders.

Then Rigsby's car broke down.

And Van Pelt's hair wouldn't cooperate, which she couldn't even blame it on the (nonexistent) humidity.

Cho's back even started acting up again, for no good reason that he could identify.

So when Lisbon wandered out into the bullpen to check in, she found a trio of very disgruntled agents.

Plus Jane.

"Morning?" she asked tentatively.

She received three muttered suggestions of a greeting.

Plus Jane's.

"Morning Lisbon!" he said cheerfully.

She smiled automatically in response. "You're in a good mood today," she remarked.

Behind Lisbon's back Van Pelt rolled her eyes.

"It's a lovely California spring day," Jane told the agent in charge. "Do you know how many people would kill for weather like this? What's not to be happy about?"

"Lots of things," Cho interjected bluntly, swallowing a painkiller.

Lisbon frowned. "I thought that was getting better," she said gesturing to his back as she walked over.

"So did I," Cho muttered. "But I woke up this morning in pain. Stupid day."

"You must have done something in your sleep," Jane told him. "I could hypnotize you, help manage the pain."

"I think I'd rather tough it out," Cho said immediately.

"Hmm," Jane replied with a shrug, obviously a little put out by the refusal.

Lisbon smirked. Then she turned back to Cho, "Have you tried a massage?"

"I don't like strangers touching me," he replied.

"I love massages," Van Pelt murmured, getting Rigsby's attention.

"Well, you go get one then," Cho told her with a scowl.

Lisbon smiled sympathetically and patted her second in command gingerly on the shoulder. "Try to take it easy today at least," she told him.

"Shouldn't be too hard since I'll probably be doing paperwork," Cho pointed out.

"And if we do get called out, I don't mind tackling for today," Rigsby offered,

"Good idea, since I'll have to drive," Cho shot back.

Now it was Rigsby's turn to frown and Lisbon to look over at him in concern.

"My car broke down," he muttered.

Lisbon winced. "Can they fix it?"

"Should be ready by tomorrow or the next day," he admitted. "Hopefully. And hopefully they won't charge me an arm and a leg while they're at it."

"At least it's fixable," Lisbon said, trying to be optimistic.

He shrugged. "Still, it's something I didn't need this morning."

Lisbon tried to think of a response, when Jane interrupted.

"What happened to you this morning Grace?" he asked.

Van Pelt looked up at him, clearly startled. "What?"

Jane continued. "Well, usually you're the one advocating a positive outlook, not Lisbon here. Which means that you're annoyed with the world too."

"I'm not!" Van Pelt insisted.

All four of her teammates raised their eyebrows.

She sighed. "Fine I am," she admitted. "But it's not a big deal."

The four other people in the room waited expectantly.

Van Pelt realized she was going to have to tell them. "I'm having a bad hair day okay?"

Cho just blinked at her. Lisbon bit her lip. Rigsby stifled a chuckle. Jane didn't even bother trying to hide his grin.

Van Pelt scowled at them all. "I said it was no big deal!" she reminded them. "And I know what happened to you guys is worse, but it pissed me off. Can't we all just agree that today is going terribly for this team?"

Rigsby and Cho nodded.

But Lisbon voiced her objections. "Now this is ridiculous," she said. "It's a perfectly normal day. This is just bad luck. We're not cursed, it's not fate; it's just an unfortunate coincidence. So I want everyone to at least try and have a positive attitude. Look out the window. Jane's right, the weather's lovely, it's not going to be a hectic day. We can all catch up on paperwork, maybe go out to lunch. Let's be positive."

She maintained eye contact with all of them until the annoyance on their faces started to fade and she was met with a chorus of "Yes, Boss."

"Good," she said decisively.

Suddenly Wainwright appeared in the doorway behind her. "Lisbon, clear your schedule for the entire morning," he said. "I need you in a meeting to discuss budgetary issues. Meet me in my office in fifteen minutes."

Lisbon stared after him for a few seconds. Then she sighed, she turned back towards her team. "That's it, today just sucks."

They nodded in commiseration.

Jane wordlessly dropped down on his couch.

The way the day was going, sleeping through it seemed like the safest option.


The end