Written in 10 minutes, after a sudden spontaneous burst of inspiration, so enjoy, and try to ignore any issues.
This is JUST A ONESHOT. I will not write more on this- the inspiration moment is over, and if I try to write more, it'll come out patchy and fake. Enjoy!
She wanted to be angry. Really, she did. He'd lied and connived and made up things, crossing lines with more frequency than ever before, and look. 'I told you so' wasn't exactly the mature response, but at the moment, that was all her brain was saying, over and over, as she stared at the body stuffed in the closet, the blood that streaked across the floor and seemed to reach for the unit.
He'd gone and screwed up, left a trail for Darcy, and now he was paying the ultimate price for his mistake. His entire deception was gone- now, he would pay for everything. Killing an innocent man. Lying under oath. Tricking a jury. Falsifying evidence. Misleading an FBI agent. Convincing a grieving family that an innocent husband committed murder and suicide. All of it would fall upon him. She could practically hear the condemning gavel beating his fate out on the stand.
She turned to see how the man would react, and was stunned for a moment.
In this moment, it was as though she could see through his eyes and straight into what lie behind.
He gazed sightlessly at the scene, as if he'd joined Rosalind in blindness. She could see what he did- a neat, perfect stack of cards, tumbling down. Sadness and disappointment in himself rolled across his face. One of his lies had been torn off, and it had taken his mask with it.
The golden-haired boy seemed to age a thousand years in a thousandth of a second. His shoulders sagged as if in slow motion, and his head bowed like a praying man, though she knew he wasn't. She knew that when (if?) he pulled it back together, he would regret this moment of weakness. It was something she related to, this pride. They shared an inability to display weakness gracefully.
Her anger dissipated like desert rain.
She crossed the room and, as inconspicuously as possible (which was very inconspicuous, as there was a fairly good distraction in the room- a wrapped dead body,) put her hand under his elbow and guided him out of the room, taking the back way to avoid all the hubbub.
He allowed her to steer him, moving senselessly. His consciousness seemed to have abandoned his body, but one look in his eyes reaffirmed that he was still with them- the turmoil in them was chaotic and hypnotizing.
She got him outside and took him behind a copse of trees to a convenient bench, and sat him down. Then she wondered what to say.
What does one say when their friend and colleague discovers a murder that has torn down a tower of fragile lies he's spent months struggling with and creating? And said lies also revolve around protecting the existence of the man who killed his entire family. There's not much one can say to help someone get through that.
Start with the basics, she decided.
"Jane… I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" She half expected him to look up and comment on the stupid question. But his only response was to take a deep breath, almost a sigh, and look at her with those terrible eyes that led right to his soul.
She understood why he kept a mask up- he had the most emotional, revealing eyes she'd ever seen. And somehow, as they displayed his soul, she felt as though her own soul was exposed as well.
Not knowing what else to do, she sat beside him and pulled him to her. He allowed her to pull his head to her shoulder, in a sort of leaning hug. He took another sighing breath, and she felt pity and compassion stir within her.
Usually he was so impeccable and perfect, getting punched in the nose and smiling about it, solving a case effortlessly and extravagantly, manipulating the world about him like a puppetmaster god. Even when he was blind, or had amnesia, or a concussion, he'd continued to hold that unmistakable sense of power about him, cloaked in mystery and energy and wildness.
Something occurred to her, something she'd never thought of before.
He was only human.
How had she never truly realized that? Was it the secret admiration and adoration and undeniable love she felt for him that had blinded her to his humanity? Or was it his own doing, his skill and seemed transcendence above the worries and abilities of the rest of the mortals around him? She didn't know how it had happened, but somehow, she'd forgotten it- he was only human.
The moment broke as he hugged her back for a moment, life flowing back into his limbs, then pulled away gently. The mask was regrowing, the holes to his soul becoming clever eyes again. She wasn't sure if what she felt was relief or disappointment.
"I'm sorry about that, Lisbon. A moment of being overwhelmed, I suppose. Happens to everyone. I'm fine. This will all be solved and forgotten soon enough. I'll think of something, like I always do." The pomp and naughtiness and confidence was all back. Somehow, he'd been the one hurt worst, but she was still aching when he'd recovered. How had that happened?
"Let's go back to the scene. Darcy will be suspicious about my disappearance, and I don't want her to notice you vanished as well and think you're involved."
"But I am," she protested, standing and brushing dust off her pants. He grinned and winked.
"Not if I can help it. You won't go down with me. I don't want to have to get you out of jail, too," he teased.
They went back to the scene, seeming to have forgotten the other scene that had just occurred. But, deep within her, Teresa clung to that truth she'd found.
He was human. Only human.