A/N: Well, this episode just about broke my heart! For Jane and Lisbon equally. But something struck me while Jane was reading the note. I don't know if it was the camera angle or just that I knew who actually wrote it or what, but it seemed like he found it more…Personal. So, this happened.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Mentalist, silly! Jane never has kissed Lisbon, or visa versa.
Jane was worried as he got into the van. Worried that Lisbon would be mad at him over the note. Worried that she would yell at him. And worried that she would finally say she'd had enough. That she was going to tell the team about Red John, or worse, tell Wainwright.
When only silence greeted him, he felt more than a little relieved.
He closed his eyes, preparing to take a nap, when he heard it. Her voice.
Well, that was nice while it lasted…
He turned his head toward her, and his eye flickered open.
"What about it?"
She sighed. "You wrote it."
Well, that was fairly obvious. He couldn't exactly deny it.
She took a deep breath. "I'm not saying it was the right thing to do. But it didn't look like there was another way to get Darcy off the case. And that was the important thing. So, I can't officially say this, but…Good work."
He smiled slightly at her. He was confused, though. He thought this was what he'd wanted. He wanted her to look the other way, not make a big deal about it, and protect him. But now…Hearing his straight-edge cop say she was ok with framing a dead man for murder, even if it was to protect someone…To hear her ok with him forging a suicide note, and putting a dead man's prints on a knife…It didn't feel right.
She was good. She was supposed to support doing what was right…
He tried to push it out of his mind. After all, it meant he was safe. But the fact that he had influenced her in a way no one could call positive…Just another layer of guilt, he decided.
She smiled and added, "You have a talent for writing, too. You made the feelings sound very believable."
He didn't miss the way her face fell slightly toward the end, and knew the time of mercy was almost over.
Bracing himself, he replied, "Thank you."
Her face lost all hints of a smile. Staring straight ahead, she asked, "How many like it have you written?"
He sighed. Of all the things she could ask… He studied her, hoping it was a spur-of-the-moment question she regretted. He saw fear at his answer, but no regret at the asking.
He forced a soft smile and replied quietly, "You don't want to know."
She seemed sad, but not surprised. "When was the last one?"
He shrugged, not liking the new direction of conversation, and hoping she'd just let it go.
He closed his eyes and leaned back in the seat.
He was allowed to relax for about ten seconds, then felt the car suddenly driving onto the side of the road. He opened his eyes in surprise. She was staring at him, trying to think of words to say.
He decided she deserved something. Some sort of reassurance…
He reached out and placed his hand on her wrist. "Lisbon, don't worry. I'm not going anywhere. You're stuck with me for a long time."
He accompanied the statement with a gentle smile.
She nodded slightly, tears shimmering over her eyes, but not falling.
He decided a change of subject was in order. Now.
"Do you happen to know if there's a diner nearby that does good eggs?"
She smiled, and he could see that she was ok. Withdrawing his hand, he added, "I know one that's pretty good, but you'd have to let me drive…"
She laughed out loud, and he felt relief flood him. She's just fine…
She replied, a grin on her face, "No, thanks. I'd like to be around for a long time, too!"
He couldn't resist smiling broadly at that. "Well, now, that's just insulting. And insulting my driving, Lisbon, is an unpardonable offense!"
She shook her head. "I thought that was fooling you…"
"Well, that, too."
She smirked. "Drive? Do you want to?"
He chuckled. "Nope."
"No, you're just trying to trick me into saying yes, but when I say yes, you're actually going to say no, so I'm not even going to bother saying yes."
Maybe Jane has a point about eggs, Lisbon mused. That was the best diner I've ever been to. It was hours later, and they were back at the CBI. She was headed upstairs to retrieve Jane. No way was she going to leave him up in the attic tonight.
Not after…She shuddered. As if the forged suicide note and the secrets kept from the team weren't enough, her conversation with Jane earlier had her thrown off-balance as well.
He had assured her he didn't plan on leaving her, but he had lied before.
Even to her.
And she planned to keep him close for the next couple of weeks.
When she got up to the attic, however, she didn't see him.
Switching on the lights, she noticed a note on his makeshift bed.
Trying not to feel worried, she walked over to it.
It said simply, "Teresa, don't worry. As for what you asked earlier, I have written many notes like that, mostly addressed to you. The problem with that is, every single one ends in, 'I can't do this. I can't do this to you. I can't hurt you.' Or I guess that's not really a problem. I suppose that's a good thing. Right now I am downstairs in your office. On your couch, actually. Don't worry about me. Just you being there is enough to keep me here. And one day, after all of this Red John business is over, I'll be able to be there as… more than a friend."
There was no signature, nor a need for one.
She knew they wouldn't talk about the note, not for a long time.
She knew that he knew she wouldn't say anything about it.
And she knew why he had written it: To show her he did have plans after Red John. To give her some hope. And it did.
She now knew she would be stuck with him for a long, long time. And she couldn't be happier.
When Jane woke up the next morning, he was alone in Lisbon's office. Still on her couch, he now had a blanket covering him. He inhaled deeply. The blanket smelled like cinnamon. He pulled it tighter around him.
He suddenly noticed a small piece of paper laying on him.
He reached carefully for it, then smiled. Three words on it. Three simple words. And they made his day.
"I'll be here."
A/N: Well, that was a lot different than what I usually write…Feedback would really be appreciated. Thank you very much. God Bless.