A/N: So, this tag might be slightly late, but I decided it had to be written.
It was a request from nancye-2000 on the Mentalist Writing Ideas forum.
I hope you all enjoy this little one-shot.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Mentalist, dearies.
"Boy, you really did a number on him."
I guess it was an innocent enough comment. Even more, it was a rare, Cho-styled joke.
We don't see enough of those as it is.
Jane even seemed to treat it as such, replying cheerfully,
"Yes, I did. Thank you."
So why did I get so irritated?
After all, not only did I rush to his defense so fast that I didn't even know what I was saying until I'd said it, I even accompanied my defense with a hit.
Not a very strong hit, admittedly, but a hit, nonetheless. Cho and I started working at the CBI about the same time. We've always had so much respect for each other, he's never had to worry about being slapped or punched by me.
Even like this.
So, back to my original question, why?
Why did the comment make me so protective of Jane?
Why did I snap, "No, you simply confirmed what she knew in her heart already?"
The moment passed quickly enough, thankfully. Jane didn't even bother to analyze it, as far as I could tell.
So why am I still thinking about it hours later?
Because I know it was important.
It showed how much I cared about him almost as much as my reaction after the bomb.
I shiver at the thought.
Jane practically glued to the van, staring in horror at the man, me pleading with him to just run. Just run, move, get away from there.
And maybe that's part of what's bugging me so much.
He didn't run sooner.
If he had run the moment I told him to, he would have been completely fine. No blindness, no bandages on his eyes, and no near-death experiences with Grace.
On the flip side, if he had run just a few moments later, it wouldn't have mattered.
He would have been dead.
And I truly believe that he was ready to do that.
I truly believe that if I hadn't kept pulling him, he would be dead right now.
That's how little he cares about himself.
You know the classic romantic story-line, "I'm in love with a man who loves someone else?"
I'd accepted that that was me a long time ago.
His ring still shows that he'd not available, that his heart still belongs to someone else.
And I'd accepted that.
Being in love with a man who didn't love himself, however, was a different matter.
He didn't even care about himself enough to run from a bomb.
But he cared about someone else enough to.
And that does give me a sliver of hope.
Still, Cho's comment upset me, and I guess that's why.
Jane already feels enough guilt.
The last thing he needs is any more.
The last thing he needs is another reason to stay by the bomb next time.
With that sorted out, I can focus only on getting my stuff out of my office and going home, but as I walk toward there, I see Jane slowly taking off his bandages, and I have to stop.
I lean against the doorframe and watch.
He pulls each bandage off slowly, and then opens his eyes.
He stares ahead of him for a second, blinking.
Then he smiles at me.
And I can't help but grin back, relief flooding me that he can, in fact, see me.
He looks at me with bright eyes as I walk over, and I never would have guessed that he had been through anything at all: Nearly being shot, the car bomb, even his family's murders.
I wouldn't believe it if I didn't know it was true.
"You have no idea how great it is to see your face, Rigsby."
Rigsby? The doctors said he might have short-term memory loss, but this? If he thinks I'm Rigsby…I check, just to be sure.
He meets my eyes for a second, then, giant smile appearing, "Ahhh-ahhhh."
He fooled me. Again. But this time, I can't help it.
I laugh with him. "Hmm-hmmm-hmmm, you're funny."
He shrugs cheerfully, then holds out his hand. I take it after a moment, slightly confused.
And he has done it again.
Patrick Jane has seen right through me, yet again.
I nod. "I know."
Just because he knows the truth and I know the truth doesn't mean I have to admit it, after all.
He stands, and then pulls me in for a hug.
I don't bother fighting him, not that I really want to.
I hold on, because I don't get this often.
I will hold on until he lets go.
He does pull away eventually, but doesn't pull to far away.
He smiles at me gently, and says, "I'll come back for you. Always."
His voice is soft, and I can barely hear him, much to my surprise.
Maybe even Patrick Jane gets embarrassed occasionally.
The thought makes me smile.
He adds, even softer, "And maybe one day…"
His voice trails off, and he leans in.
I am shocked when his lips brush my cheek, but I don't complain…
And then he's gone.
I don't know where he went, and I really don't know how he does that.
But I guess he's given me enough to think about for one night.
Although, most of what he said didn't really surprise me.
It simply confirmed what I knew in my heart already.
A/N: Reviews are loved. Thank you, and God Bless.