A/N: So, I am attempting a multi-chapter story… *Takes a deep breath*
I'm trying to keep it sort of…In-Character with the show itself, if that makes sense. We'll barely see the ex-boyfriend in this chapter. In the following ones, we will see him quite a bit more, but this is mostly case details. (And slight Jisbon banter, naturally. Kind of unavoidable with them in an area together, right? ;-)
Disclaimer: I do not own the Mentalist. Maybe for Valentine's Day from Bruno Heller? …Yeah…I guess not. But I can dream, can't I?
Lisbon stepped out of her van briskly. She hated cases that woke her up. She liked to walk onto a crime scene feeling refreshed and awake, able to bark orders at anyone around and terrify the local sheriff. Half asleep, she was less terrifying. The only upside to such cases were that Jane often brought her coffee.
As if on cue, the blue Citroen pulled up. She slowed her walk. She needed coffee before she could face a body.
"Hey, Lisbon." In her opinion, he was way too chipper first thing in the morning. Although it wasn't likely he was woken up, she admitted.
Her train of thought was derailed by the steaming cup he handed to her. "Thanks." She took a large drink of it, then smiled at him.
He grinned. "So what do we have here?" He asked cheerfully.
She shrugged. "I'm not sure. All I know is Wainwright called me in the middle of the night to come out here. Everyone else should already be here. Maybe they'll know."
He frowned. "It's not the middle of the night, Lisbon. It's six o'clock in the morning. Time to be getting up anyway."
Lisbon nodded. "Middle of the night," she repeated.
He shook his head, but before he could say anything, she spoke, and he realized they were with the team. "What've we got, guys?"
Van Pelt nodded to the right, and for the first time, Lisbon and Jane noticed a woman lying on the ground.
"Jane Doe, probably late thirties. Blunt force trauma to the back of the head, the coroner puts her death between eleven P.M. and midnight. Forensics didn't find a murder weapon."
"A jogger was out with his dog around four A.M," Rigsby cut in. "Suddenly, the dog took off, the jogger followed, found her lying there."
"Jogger's name?" Lisbon doubted he or she was a suspect, since she doubted they'd be foolish enough to take their dog out in the same neighborhood after killing someone, but they might have seen or heard something, and besides, Teresa Lisbon was nothing if not thorough.
"Amanda Haynes," Cho answered.
"What's the dog's name?" Jane cut in.
Lisbon rolled her eyes. "What's it matter, Jane?"
"I'm curious, that's all." He grinned innocently.
"Her name's Sugar," Van Pelt decided to just appease him so they could move on.
"Sugar," Jane repeated. "She even names her dog after sweetness. Too nice of a person. Didn't do it."
Lisbon rolled her eyes again. Honestly, with Jane, she was sure they'd get stuck that way some day.
She had no doubt he reached that conclusion the same way she did. He just wanted to show off.
"She's wearing a wedding ring," Van Pelt added, "So we're hoping a husband reported her missing who can I.D. her."
Lisbon nodded. "Good. Any witnesses?"
Rigsby shook his head. "Nope."
Lisbon sighed. She had guessed as much, but there was always the chance of a stray car driving by. Still, she admitted, they probably wouldn't wait around for six hours, then tell the police what they'd seen.
Van Pelt spoke up, "Amanda did call her boyfriend after she called the cops. He says that when he got here, he saw a black truck driving off. Said it was definitely going over the speed limit. Now, Amanda didn't see it, but she said she wasn't looking that way."
Lisbon nodded. "It's probably not related, a killer usually wouldn't wait around for four hours after killing someone, especially not with a blow to the head. Still, try to find out who was in it. Maybe we'll get lucky and they saw something."
"It might be related," Jane spoke up.
"How? A blow to the head is sudden, unplanned. Waiting around that long doesn't fit." Lisbon asked.
Jane shrugged. "Well, if there really was a truck, it probably wasn't related. If."
"Why would the boyfriend make up the truck?"
Jane smiled. "Well, to throw suspicion off himself, perhaps?"
Lisbon rolled her eyes. "Then why did he come back to the crime scene?"
Jane stared at her. "Because his girlfriend called him," he answered, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Lisbon shook her head. Jane never made sense, and first thing in the morning...She gave up.
"It would look rather suspicious if his girlfriend called and he refused to come, right?" He added before she could turn away.
"True, but coming when his girlfriend called doesn't make him a killer. It makes him a caring boyfriend. Especially at four in the morning. What's his name?" The last question was directed at Van Pelt.
No, please no.
Jane glanced at Lisbon as her face paled.
"You know him?"
She laughed humorlessly. "You could say that. Where is he?"
"Over talking to the sheriff," Cho replied. His face, unlike the rest of the team's, remained impassive, despite his equal curiosity at his bosses' connection with the man.
She marched over to him, reminding herself to breathe, (and ignore her team's stares,) as she went.
"Sheriff, when there are suspects to talk to, I'd appreciate it if you run it by me before you do." She snapped.
He shrugged. "Well, alright, ma'am, but you weren't here, and-"
"I'm here now," she replied sharply. "I'd like to have a turn talking to him."
"Well, alright, ma'am..." The sheriff hurried off.
She turned to face the dark-haired man and flinched. He hadn't changed a bit. Aged a little, but he made it look good on him. Sort of like Jane did...She cut the thought off. She had enough troubles to deal with without that.
"Hey, beautiful." He grinned breezily. "Still just as strong as ever, I see."
She closed her eyes. It was going to be a long case.
A/N: So, that was chapter one, obviously. I'm a little nervous, but I'm going to go ahead and post this. Feedback would be appreciated, but if you read this without reviewing, I promise I won't tell Red John where you live. (I won't if you do, either, though. ;-)
Thank you for reading, and God Bless you.