This is Jane's second secret of the three that I wanted to write. It has been awhile since I wrote the first one… sometimes after reading all the wonderful writers here, I sometimes don't want to put my stories up here, but then again I didn't just write it for me. Hope you enjoy it, and I am working on the third secret.
Don't own the Mentalist, sure wish I did.
This secret is set after "Rose-Colored Glasses"
They left the hotel late, after the up and coming TV talk show host was arrested for murder. Cho was doing the driving back to the CBI so they could pick up their cars and go, happy that the weekend was upon them.
Lisbon was sleeping in the front seat of the van, Rigby and Grace were asleep in the back seat, Grace lending close to Rigby. Jane was watching Lisbon as she slept; he noticed the small smile on her face. He knew that that the dance they had meant a lot to Lisbon, maybe bringing back good memories of her time in High School.
Looking at the other team members he remembered what they talked and laughed about at the late dinner they had before the start of the trip home. The topic was about their High School days. Cho had told them that his parents didn't believe that he would finish school and how proud they were when he did finish. Van Pelt talked about being a cheer leader all through High School.
Sitting in the back seat now on the way home, Jane thought about the fact that he didn't even make it to High School. Always on the road with the show made it hard to attend school. Most of his early schooling was handled by carvanal folk who helped as best they could with him and some of the other kids.
He loved to read from an early age, and every town they stayed at he would go to the library and lying about his address he would check out books, some he returned others he kept so he read them over and over again.
When they stayed in an area for a while, his father would sign him into school, lying about his school records, said they had just moved into the area and his school records were in the mail. Those were some of the best times he had. He found that he was a quick study in most of the subjects, but he really enjoyed history and literature.
When it came time for High School his father told him no more school. The Boy Wonder had to help pay his own way, and support them. There was no time for High School.
Closing his eyes he wondered if his daughter was still alive, how he could tell her that he never went to High School. What would she think of her father that never when past the seventh grade. With a sigh he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Three Weeks Later
Lisbon comes into the bull pen and looks around. Everyone is busy is seems, the brown couch that usually had their consultation taking a nap on it was empty. "Does anyone know where Jane is?"
"Haven't seen him since he went to lunch three hours ago" Cho says not looking up.
"I saw him at the coffee shop across the street an hour ago, he was reading and he never even looked up. I don't think he even knew I was there." Rigby says as he sits down at his desk eating a candy bar.
"He's been really quiet the last few weeks has anyone noticed? He doesn't go out to dinner with us, doesn't even sleep on the couch much. He always looking through some books he carries in a bag" Grace says looking a little worried.
"If he comes back, tell him I need to see him." Lisbon says going back towards her office, and stopping in the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. Three women are sitting at the small table talking while having coffee.
"Donna, tell me how was your date with Patrick Jane….what is it your third date." An older woman says. Lisbon stops pouring her coffee listening to the conversation.
"I've told you before, it not really a date. He takes me out to dinner as payment for the lessons I've been giving him in algebra." She says smiling at the other two women.
"Did he tell you why he wanted the private classes?" The third woman says.
"No, not really….just that he was interested in the subject. I wish I had a student like him when I was teaching in high school. His brain is like a sponge soaking everything up."
Lisbon looks puzzled as she walks out of the kitchen and to her office. Jane and algebra…this didn't seem to fit any pattern in dealing with Jane.
Sitting at her desk later that night Lisbon was getting more worried about Jane. He never came back to work and his cell phone was turned off. He had been acting strange the last few weeks, even more than normal. When he did come into the office, he looked tired. Looking at the calendar she noticed that it wasn't one of those dates that made him sad. What was Jane doing?
Lisbon turns off her computer and grabs her purse and leaves the office for the night. She was tired of waiting for Jane to return, since he never returned from lunch. She had thought that he would return since he spent so many nights either on the couch or in the attic. Maybe a good night sleep in that second rate motel he was staying at would help him get some rest. She is walks out of the office towards her car when she sees Jane's little sports car in a parking stall near her car. She notices a light from inside the car and goes over to it. She is surprised when she sees Jane asleep, a pile of books in the seat next to him and an open one lying in his lap, there is a small book lite shining on the open book. For a change Jane looks very peaceful, it wasn't often she saw him asleep as deep as he looks now. Tapping on the window she hated to wake him, but she couldn't leave him in the car asleep. After tapping a couple of times, Jane wakes up with a start…he looks around and sees Lisbon. He rubs his face with his hand and shakes his head to wake up a bit more. He rolls the window down and smiles at Lisbon.
"My dear Lisbon, leaving late again I see." He says to her moving the book off his lap and closing it.
"I was waiting for you to come back from lunch. What are you doing out here asleep?" Lisbon says noticing how Jane is moving the books onto the floor.
"I was reading this book the Cho loaned me and guess I just lost track of time" he gives her one of those smiles he seems to save just for her.
"You've been reading the book since lunch? It must be a great book" she says, not believing one bit of it.
"Murder mystery, I've been trying to solve the case before the end of the book…you know using my mental talents and all. I'm sorry you waited so long for me...was there something you needed to talk to me about?" he looks up to her with those blue eyes that almost take her breath away, something she never wants him to find out.
"No it can wait until morning, that's is if you are through with that wonderful book that Cho loaned you?" She tries looking to see what the books were on the floor but it is to dark.
"Then I will see you in the morning Lisbon, I'll walk you to your car." He starts to open the door. She puts her hand on the door to stop him.
"My car isn't that far away, try reading that book on your couch in the office, otherwise you're going to get a stiff neck and be a terrible grump in the morning." She walks to her car, and he watches her until she is in the car and has driven off. He picks up the books and pushes them in the briefcase he has and gets out of the car and walks into the building.
For the third time that morning the team watches as Lisbon comes out of her office only to look at the empty couch and goes back into her office.
"I sure don't want to be Jane when he gets here. Late and not answering his phone, she is going to read him the riot act when he gets here." Rigby says looking back at her office
Cho looks back to the office again, and shrugs his shoulders, and goes back to the book he is reading. They look back at the hallway and see Jane walking into the room, all smiles. He is carrying a tray of coffee and a bag.
"Good morning all, I have brought hot substance for all of you." He passes out coffee to Van Pelt, Cho and Rigby and carrying one more on the tray he goes into Lisbon's office without knocking. She looks up from her computer and looks back down.
"You are three hours late Jane." She says trying to keep her temper.
He puts a cup of coffee down in front of her and a bag with her favorite bear claw.
"I didn't realize that we had a case that needed my attention Lisbon otherwise I would have been here earlier." He says with a smile.
"No we don't have a case, but I have some reports I need done and I need to have some of your input on how you knew Mr. Richards was the killer. I only have an hour left to get this to the powers that be.
They demanded it in their hands this morning."
"My dear Lisbon, if you would look in your top drawer you will find a short report from me on that exact information you want. I will be on my couch if you need me." With that he bows to her and leaves the office. Lisbon opens the drawer and looks surprised to find a hand written sheet of paper in the drawer, she shakes her head as she looks at Jane as he waves at her and falls on the couch.
The next three days had been busy with a new case, and the team was out of town except for Van Pelt who was left alone to look up information for the team when it was needed, a job she didn't like, but as the junior agent she didn't have much of a choice. The team was due back later that evening and she was going to order the pizza for the case closed party, the phone ringing took her mind off that boring job.
"Van Pelt …..I'm sorry but Mr. Jane isn't here, but I can give you his cell phone number….Oh that's right he is probably in an area that he can't get a call….yes I can take a message….." She picks up a pencil to take the message and looks concerned "Call Dr. Roberts for the results of the test, and that you will see him tomorrow night at eight….does he know where to meet you?...St John hospital in the conference room. I will give him the message as soon as he comes in. Goodbye."
Hanging up the phone Van Pelt reads over the message again, and wished that Lisbon would hurry up and get back, she was worried about what test Jane had.
The group got back in the early evening and Van Pelt had the pizza ready for them. She tried to get Lisbon alone before she gave Jane the message. Finally while Jane and Cho were discussing the merits of not having pineapple on a pizza Van Pelt whispered into Lisbon's ear and the two women left the room and went into Lisbon's office.
"Sorry boss for taking you away from dinner, but I thought you wanted to see this." She hands Lisbon the message that she wrote down for Jane. Lisbon takes the note and reads it, then looks up at Van Pelt and reads the note again.
"The doctor didn't say what the test was about?"
"No, just what I wrote down. Do you think that something is wrong with Jane and he wants to hide it from us? Van Pelt says in a whisper.
"Who knows with Jane, the man loves to keep secrets. Tomorrow first thing I want you to call the hospital and find out what you can about this doctor. For now I need you give Jane the note, and let me know how he reacts to it." Van Pelts nods in agreement and the woman leave the room. A half hour later most of the team had left for the evening, Van Pelt comes into Lisbon's office, Jane motions for her to close the door.
"I gave him the message, all he did was smile after he read it, thank me and left for the night."
"Maybe it isn't bad news….but what could it be?"
"I called the hospital after Jane left, and Dr. Roberts is not on staff there, or at any hospital. The hospital said that the conference room is rented out to outside groups when it is not in use by the hospital. Dr. Roberts has been renting the room for the last month three times a week."
"I know that Jane's private life is that, private….but what is the secret that kept him from work so often and is it something that can get him into trouble." Lisbon says with a worried look.
"So what are you planning on doing?" Van Pelt says
"You doing anything tomorrow night at eight?" Van Pelt shakes her head no, and Lisbon smiles.
The next evening Lisbon and Van Pelt walk into the hospital lobby and go over to the front desk.
"Could you tell us where the conference room is?" Lisbon says to the older woman sitting at the desk.
"It is just down the hall on the right. They haven't started the ceremony yet, so you're not late."
Lisbon and Van Pelt look at each other and walk down the hall. They go up the conference door and go in, the room is filled with people sitting in chairs, and they look around and see Jane sitting in the front row of the room. He doesn't look very comfortable with being there and a little nervous. Lisbon and Van Pelt sit down in the last row of the room as a man goes up to the front of the room.
"Good evening everyone, thank you for coming tonight, students and visitors. I'm Dr. Roberts and have been the teacher for this class. The past month your relative or friends have been studying to pass the GED Test and tonight is the night they receive their certificates. Everyone did a wonderful job with their scores, and one student had one of the highest marks I've ever had seen since I've been involved with helping students study for the GED. Patrick Jane could you please come here."
Jane doesn't want to go up, but everyone starts clapping including Lisbon and Van Pelt. He gets up and goes up to Dr. Roberts and they shake hands.
"Patrick if you ever want to take the entrance exam for any college your score would I assure you would get you into any college." He hands Jane a rolled up paper and shakes his hand. Jane looks around and sees Lisbon and Van Pelt in the back of the room. His face turns a bright red as he returns to his chair. The other students go up to Dr. Roberts to get their certificates.
After everyone leaves, Jane leaves the conference room, and walks over to the Lisbon and Van Pelt.
"I should have known that Grace would have told you about the message." He says looking at Lisbon.
"It's not her fault we are here…I wanted to see what your needed to see a doctor was…we were a little worried. It's not like you would have told us if we asked." Lisbon says
Van Pelt looks uncomfortable being there. "I'm just going to head home, I'm proud of you Jane" she gives him a quick kiss on the cheek and rushes off.
"I'm sorry that you're upset that we were here." She says quietly.
"I'm not really upset…as you know I never went to High School, I thought it didn't matter to me. The night we had the case at the High School reunion on the way back home I realized that if my daughter would have been alive how would she have felt with a father with a seventh grade education only. I realize that this GED isn't quite the same, but I needed to prove something to myself." Jane says
"Jane, no matter what education you had, she would have been very proud of you. I'm also very proud of you for doing this. How about I buy you an ice cream to celebrate?"
"That would be nice Lisbon…." She takes his hand and they walk down the hallway.